Green Office Reminder Poster: Utilise Reusable Crockery & Cutlery

Alsco Green Office Reminder

Going green demands that everyone get on board with changing office procedures and habits.

We know your team is working hard enough already, so we created these handy posters to remind you of simple green ideas. You can download them here and then print them.

All you need is blu-tack, pushpins or glue.

Download PDF file (782 KB)

Other simple ways to ‘green your office’ include using green products such as floor mats made from recycled materials and continuous cloth towel for hand drying.

Alsco Evolution Mats

Alsco’s range of commercial mats and industrial mats now includes the Evolution Mat. In addition to a great range of features including thicker pile and premium quality, these mats are made from recycled materials, eliminating the need for raw production materials. The re-engineered materials also generate a more efficient product which uses less water and energy in the cleaning process.

For your convenience, Alsco provides a fully managed rental service, supplying clean, undamaged mats every time. Alsco is committed to improvements that promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Contact Alsco to enjoy a Free Evolution Mat Trial.


Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

A Food Tourism Hub Above The Market

Each month we spotlight new or exciting Australian businesses which have either subscribed to Greenroom or are Alsco customers. We want to know what makes your business tick and how this can help other Alsco customers to create a greener, safer and healthier businesses.

Today’s spotlight is on The Central Market Kitchen.

The Central Market Kitchen

About Central Market Kitchen: 

The Central Market Kitchen is a food, tourism and education hub for people interested in high-quality South Australian foods. We introduce and connect local producers, offering food and wine experiences, highlighting products and demonstrating the importance of local foods to the community and the economy.

A Food Tourism Hub…

1. How did The Market Kitchen come to life?

We recognised a need in the tourism industry for a hub for food tourism right in the CBD and the space immediately above the most visited tourist attraction at Adelaide – The Adelaide Central Market- seemed ideally situated!

2. What were the challenges that you have encountered when you first start up The Market Kitchen?

Whilst we are immediately above the Market many people do not know the space exists – this will soon be rectified as we have been fortunate enough to gain funding to redevelop our outdoor area complete with new signage.

A Day In The Market Kitchen…

3. What is a crazy/awesome day like in The Market Kitchen?

Every day in the Kitchen is different – we might be hosting local students on an educational tour, linking exchange students with their schools overseas via Skype, hosting corporate groups for team bonding experiences, filming overseas cooking segments with celebrity chefs, launching new products etc. In all our activities, we promote the amazing produce available in the Market right below us.

4. What are the top 3 things you do to have fun in The Market Kitchen?

Every day is fun as we are interacting with people who are there to learn and have fun – but the top 3 things would be:

  • The moments when students tell us after a tour that it was “the best excursion ever”.
  • Seeing corporate teams really bond together over a Market Challenge event.
  • Butchers Blocks- chilled out sessions once a month- great food, music and a great atmosphere.

5. Do you have a funny story to share about one of your experiences when running The Market Kitchen?

When we first took on the Kitchen it had not been decorated for many years and the windows hadn’t been opened in more than 50 years – one of the first things we did was to chip away the paint and open the kitchen to the fresh air again – however, it was the paint that had been holding the window in place – our director was left stranded outside one floor up from Gouger Street holding the window in place whilst we ran around the market trying to find tools and some screws to reattach the window!

Life Besides The Central Market…

6. If you’re not in Central Market (at work), where can we find you?

In my kitchen cooking up a storm to share with family and friends.

Message To Others…

7. What’s your top secret marketing tip that you can share with newbies?

In this day and age, social media is a very important marketing tool. Having someone whose responsibility it is to advertise a consistent and professional message is very valuable. Also incorporating social media into our products, for example – when we are running a corporate event we can cross promote their company and ours. A functional, easy to use booking engine from both our sides, as event holders and for potential clients is essential.

8. What’s the best learning experience that you’d like to share with others?

You never get a second chance at a first impression so it is important to present to potential new clients professionally in all aspects from the start.

Alsco Experience…

9. What’s one thing that Alsco does for you that no one else can? Why?

Alsco provides a great linen service and offers us flexibility with our order – we are a small company and our needs vary greatly from week to week.

10. Do you have a funny experience with an Alsco rep?

Not yet, early days, – but we hope to continue with the company and look forward to an ongoing and growing business relationship.



Alsco would like to thank Cheryl Turner, the Administration Co-ordinator of Adelaide Central Market Kitchen, World Food Connections Pty. Ltd and Central Market Tours, for sharing an awesome story through this interview.

The Central Market Kitchen avails Alsco‘s fully-managed rental services to take care of their workplace needs. They recently started their business in 2015. It is located immediately above the iconic Adelaide Central Market. For more of  Central Market Kitchen, visit their website at

Are you an Alsco customer and/or a Greenroom subscriber? Get a chance to be featured in our Small Business Spotlight series. Email us.

Why Quality Microfibre Technology Makes a Whole Lot of Sense

The use of microfibre cloths has become synonymous with green cleaning. There is, however, a vast difference between using a cheap ‘microfibre’ cloth with a chemical product, and professional microfibre technology with water only.

When I question why people use a chemical with a methodology designed to be chemical-free, they argue that microfibre doesn’t work without it. I then look at the flimsy, grubby ‘microfibre’ cloth being used to clean a whole building, and suggest that perhaps they were expecting miracles.

This article answers four questions I’m constantly asked about making microfibre work effectively without chemicals.

1. Why Use Microfibre Technology Without Chemicals?

It’s pretty hard to call microfibre cloths and mops (tools) ‘green’ if used with normal chemical products. In fact, the use of a sustainably-sourced, non-toxic, concentrated and biodegradable chemical may have less environmental impact than a cheap synthetic microfibre cloth that is manufactured with poor environmental controls, and thrown away after a few days.

A microfibre system should offer numerous environmental and health benefits, such as:

  • Lasting at least 500 washes
  • Reducing water-use, packaging waste and transportation
  • Using chemicals in the manufacturing and laundering stages only
  • Preventing skin irritations and respiratory problems
  • Removing surface contamination and preventing it from spreading while cleaning.

Being lighter, easier and more ergonomic to use than wring mops, and leaving the floors dryer, microfibre mops should also reduce the risk of strains and slips and associated injury-based costs.

However, most cheap microfibre tools are little better than colour-coded rags. The only way these benefits can be achieved is by investing in professional microfibre equipment. As Rob Gordon, the environmental services manager who implemented microfibre technology at St Vincent’s Health Australia in Darlinghurst (Sydney), points out; “Microfibre out-performs any other cloth on the market, but it comes down to the quality you buy.”

Gordon also carefully controls the whole cleaning process: its supply, storage, training, handling, testing and maintenance. I call this ‘managing the cleaning life-cycle’. Which leads us to the second question – how to address microfibre and water’s biggest barriers – upfront costs and change management.

2. How To Address The Barriers?

As professional microfibre equipment can cost ten times more than its cheaper cousin, the most obvious barrier is cost. At St Vincent’s Health Australia the outlay was $2,500 per ward. But as Gordon pointed out, these upfront costs were negated over time via its extended durability and reduced chemical, waste and lost work time costs. Monitoring through extensive internal testing, its tools perform at peak for an average one and a half to two years, and are then transferred to administrative offices, thus extending its life-span.

In a health and aged care settings, reusable microfibre is generally restricted to environmental cleaning applications. However, with the addition of anti-bacterial nano-silver, disposable microfibre and/or steam equipment, microfibre methodologies are being tested successfully in some hospital clinical areas and infectious rooms, such as Southern Health and Monash Health facilities.

Microfibre is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Practical barriers to consider in a commercial setting include:

  • The lack of space (or permission) to install a washing machine;
  • The surface condition, texture or level of soiling risking damage to the tools or requiring stronger chemicals, and
  • The facility or contract size, limiting the return on investment.

It takes time to research, plan, implement, train and monitor an effective system. It also requires a willingness to shift the perception of management, or clients, to make such an investment in professional microfibre.

Probably the biggest barrier to microfibre is when an investment fails. Not training cleaners, or providing them with a system to ensure microfibre is used correctly, means they may continue to use cleaning products which clog or even destroy the tools, or they end up in land-fill prematurely by falling into the waste cart. But failure is most often due to insufficient numbers of tools provided to clean with and a woefully inadequate laundering system.

3. How Do You Use Microfibre Properly?

Supplying a few microfibre cloths or mops per building that are rinsed under the tap ‘on-the-go’, is not cleaning – it’s ‘dirtying’. It spreads germs and soil around, causing smears and dullness, which is then blamed on the tool (this applies to wipes or mops with chemicals too). The face of the tool contacting the surface must be clean, and cross-contamination from one surface/area/tool to another must be prevented.

An effective microfibre system should have:

  • Colour-coded tools, including different coloured cloths (or disposable wipes) used on toilets and basins
  • Sufficient clean tools to enable replacement per area / surface / soil levels / clinical requirements
  • Purpose-built carrying and storing systems, to prevent contact between clean and dirty tools
  • A laundering system

Tools must be washed within 12 hours of use and immersed in warm water before all soil particles can be released. Not only is this essential for good hygiene, but embedded soil will risk damaging surfaces and bacteria will ruin the fibres.

An effective laundering system should be capable of:

  • Rinsing heavy soil away with cold water before laundering
  • Reaching 60oC for washing cloths used for normal cleaning
  • Reaching and maintaining 65oC for 10 minutes (or 71oC for three minutes) to achieve thermal disinfection
  • Using a low-foaming laundry detergent that does not contain bleach, softeners or zeolites.
  • Drying in a cool dryer (or air-dry if facilities and time allow).

A commercial washing machine should be installed on the site, or at a centralised location, or tools sent to a commercial laundry.

4. Is Microfibre Technology Becoming More Accepted?

In writing this article, I interviewed several suppliers as well as end-users. They told me they were seeing a growing demand from building owner/occupants toward microfibre as a viable cleaning methodology, and that there is awareness that it needed a fully professional system and training to ensure it worked effectively.

So, as that old saying goes: ‘a bad workman blames his tools’ – but it helps to buy quality tools in the first place.



Alsco would like to thank Bridget Gardner, director of FreshGreenClean and Melanie Robertson, the Marketing Manager of AusCleanExpo for this article. AusClean conducts cleaning expos for cleaning and hygine industry. The next AusClean Pulire Expo  will be held on Oct 20-21 2015 in Jupiters Hotel and Casino, Gold Coast, Australia. Want to register? Visit

Keeping your workplace clean and green is easier than you think as greener cleaning alternatives are available like Microfiber Mops and Ecosafe Parts Washer. No need to use harmful chemicals. Switch to safer and more economical cleaning! Learn more.

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

A National Approach For Dealing With Depression And Anxiety in the Workplace

Workplaces across the country have significantly increased their focus on better mental health with the creation of an Australian-first alliance to drive change in business culture and practice.

The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance brings together mental health advocates, business representatives and government agencies in a partnership committed to improving mental health among Australian workers.

Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance Aims

Offically launched two years ago in July 2013, the Alliance aims to provide the business sector with practical guidance about mental health designed to drive sustainable changes in business culture and practice, and is developing an evidence-based business case for promoting mentally healthy workplaces.

Founding members include:

  • Safe Work Australia
  • Beyondblue
  • The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • The Australian Psychological Society
  • The Black Dog Institute
  • The Business Council of Australia
  • Comcare
  • The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia
  • The Mental Health Council of Australia
  • SANE Australia and the University of New South Wales

Research shows that depression in the workplace costs Australia more than $12 billion a year in lost production and job turnovers. This is reflective of an environment where for too long governments and businesses have failed to recognise that good mental health in the workplace is just as important as physical safety.

Good Mental Health Benefits

Professor Allan Fels, Chair of the National Mental Health Commission says the Alliance wants all Australian workplaces to be taking active steps to create mentally healthy workplaces and fully realise the benefits to individuals, businesses and the community.

“Mentally healthy workplaces prevent harm to the mental health of their people, make sure people who experience mental health difficulties are supported, and have positive cultures that are conducive to mental wellbeing.”

Alliance members acknowledge that:

  • Mentally healthy workplaces contribute to the mental health of all Australians
  • Mentally healthy workplaces result in increased productivity and other benefits to businesses, and
  • Collaboration by stakeholders is key to achieving positive and sustainable change.

The Alliance’s vision is for all Australian workplaces take active steps to create mentally healthy workplaces and fully realise the benefits to their people, their business and the community.

The Alliance has launched a call for good practice and we will use the information gathered through this and other work to develop practical, national resources for businesses for release later in the year.

To find out more, or to get involved, check out the The Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance website:

First Aid Supplies

Alsco’s Managed First Aid Service is the simple way to ensure OH&S compliance for businesses across Australia. Offering a full range of first aid kits – from food industry specific to mobile kits – Alsco’s service provides regular re-stocking with hospital grade first aid supplies.

Our rental system removes the financial burden of capital outlay and depreciation, replacing it with a tax deductible service. Arrange a free OH&S First Aid compliance check now by contacting Alsco – with no obligation. See it in action!


Image courtesy: Alex Proimos

Should You Have an AED in Your Workplace?

healthy heart workplace AED

Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in Australia. As per the Australian Bureau of Statistics,  in 2013 alone, they accounted for 20,000 deaths. Heart diseases include angina, blocked arteries and heart attacks any of which could lead to a sudden cardiac arrest. A study of patients of sudden cardiac arrest found that heart attack (acute myocardial infarction) was the most common underlying mechanism of a cardiac arrest.

A breakdown by sex, of the deaths caused by heart diseases, shows that coronary heart diseases are the primary cause of death for both males and females. Neither sex can afford to take it easy on this count.

An analysis by age shows that heart diseases start to become a significant cause above the age of 25 but for all age groups people above the age of 45, they account for more deaths than any other cause.

Stay safe. Ensure you have access to a defibrillator at your workplace which can be reached within minutes if not seconds. A well located, easy to use, properly maintained AED can help save lives in your workplace. Have you ensured that yet? If not, call Alsco immediately.

It is interesting to note that heart diseases start to become a significant cause of death for people above the age group of 25. This is also the age when people start to work and the participation of people in the workforce peaks. It is almost a given that a person of this age group would be employed and working in some form or the other and contributing.

So, could there be a causal relationship between work and hear diseases? Well, that is not true. There are many other factors which play a significant role in determining whether a person is prone to heart diseases or not. At the same time work related factors can not be totally ignored. There are many important factors in the workplace which could be the cause of heart related problems.

In this article we look at some of these factors and try and understand how they are ultimately related to a sudden cardiac arrest.

Toxins at the Workplace

Several chemicals are considered to be a direct cause of heart attacks.

  • Carbon disulphide is a gas found mainly in industrial plants producing rayon, cellophane, etc. Studies have shown that people working in these plants have a significantly higher mortality rate due to heart related conditions.
  • Carbon monoxide, which is found in the exhaust of vehicles, is another toxin which causes higher rates of mortality amongst people engaged in jobs related to roads, tunnels etc. where exposure to motor exhaust is high.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke

Passive smoking is another known silent giant killer. Breathing other people’s cigarette smoke enhances your chances of lung cancer as well as heart disease. Workplaces should take care to ensure that there are separate rooms for smokers with proper exhaust facilities to ensure that harmful cigarette smoke does not spread to affect other workers.

Shift Work

Working in shifts, particularly in the night shift, often results in lack of sleep. The body requires a certain minimum amount of sleep in order to rejuvenate itself and work properly the next day. Failure to get the required amount of sleep can result in tiredness, difficulty to concentrate which may result in errors or accidents and ultimately build up of stress.

Moreover, the body’s own circadian clock gets disturbed affecting the performance of the heart. Other factors such as changes in behaviour and social patterns may also cause a person working in shift to be at greater risk of a sudden cardiac arrest.


Stress at work has risen over the last few years. A survey done by Princeton Survey Research Associates  found that 3 out of every 4 workers believe that stress in work now is more than what it was a generation ago.

The CDC defines stress as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury. Stress at work is caused by many job conditions which the individual worker is unable to cope or deal with adequately. Job conditions that may lead to stress are

  • The nature and design of tasks – this happens when there is either an overload of work, too many roles to perform at the same time, with infrequent breaks or even if there are routine tasks to be performed which do not utilise the workers’ skills, leading to a sense of lack of control on the job and frustration.
  • Poor leadership and management – Typically caused when there is a lack of participation in the decision making process or of family friendly policies.
  • Job insecurity or lack of growth opportunities – These lead to concerns about career and job.
  • Environmental concerns – Working under dangerous physical conditions like too much of heat, noise or sitting in poor conditions can trigger stress.

Stress, particularly constant stress is a known risk of cardiovascular disease. Stress causes the body to release hormones in order to activate its survival mechanisms. Blood pressure is raised and there are changes in the way the blood clots in the human body which increase the likely hood of heart attacks.

Further, the ways in which people deal with stress may further enhance the possibility of heart attacks. If people take to smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating or not exercising, then that makes matters worse.

Workplace Lunches

Workplace food choices can be disastrous for the heart. The food could be wrong on many counts.

  • Large portion sizes.
  • High levels of sodium, sugar and fat.
  • Use of high fat meats such as bacon, pepperoni, meatballs rather than low fat ones like ham, chicken, turkey.
  • Choice of cooking techniques – Larger quantities of food more often tend to be made in plenty of oil (breaded, buttered, tempura, fried, etc.) rather than being being baked, barbecued, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted or steamed.
  • The use of heavy cream or cheese based sauces such as mayonnaise, hollandaise, Alfredo etc.
  • The easy availability of high sugar content drinks like fizzy soft drinks, fruit flavoured carbonated beverages or even milkshakes rather than fresh fruit juices.
  • Lack of availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to snack upon when hunger strikes, such as baby carrots, apples, yoghurt, nuts.

All these factors combined have caused heart related diseases to become the number one cause of death in Australia. Given the dire implications, workplaces and employers need to work towards developing healthy heart plans at their worksites. A few things which they can do are

  • Provide healthy foods and beverages at workplaces, including in lunchrooms, cafes and vending machines.
  • Providing access to exercise facilities at subsidised rates either onsite or close to the office.
  • Encourage employees to use stairs often.
  • Provide free or subsidised health checkups regularly, including checking for cholesterol screening.
  • Offer access to a recognised training course on first aid which includes cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Last, but certainly not the least, easy access to AEDs at workplaces since people spend 40 hours a week at their workplace.

Join the healthy heart movement today. Make your workplace heart friendly with these simple tips.

Ensure that you always have a fully functional defibrillator that can be easily accessed whenever required. The Heartsine 500P AED from Alsco is more than just a defibrillator. It is easy to use, gives assists during the CPR process via vocal prompts and helps saves lives at a convenient low monthly cost. To know more about the advantages of the Heartsine 500P, simply give our friendly experts a call.


Photo Credit: Lisa L Wiedermeier



Principals for Transforming your Good Restaurant Into a Fantastic Business

Prestige and fulfillment are two things that often come to mind when envisioning restaurant ownership. It is largely assumed that owners of restaurants are, by default of their business nature, doing well. This perception can be deceiving, however; a sign that reads “open” and food being prepared in the kitchen is not a fair measure of overall business success.

While those two things are key ingredients in a complex dish, it takes far more to complete the meal. If success is on the menu, you’ll need the recipe for turning your good restaurant into a great business.

Humble Beginnings

Ask most restaurant owners what inspired them to open their own dining establishment and you will likely find the same riveting culprit: Passion for food. A flair for “all things food” charms those who consider themselves lucky diners; friends and family whose happy tastebuds solicit the one comment that any accomplished culinarian loves to hear: “You should open your own restaurant!” Sometimes this invokes a giggle, but sometimes it sparks a dream.

Successful entrepreneurs most often possess inherent characteristics that serve to navigate and fuel their ambitions and achievements. They are self-motivated visionaries. They have mastered the art of creating something that the general public receives and creates a demand for. Knowing how to run a cafe or a restaurant is essential; knowing how to manage a successful business is absolutely critical.

An owner must hone skills in four major areas of business: finance, marketing, administration, and operations while simultaneously defining a balanced and personal role distribution among each of them.

Research Saves Businesses

The most refined of diners view dining not simply as eating, but as a balanced, sensory experience. They typically begin that experience with an appetizer–something that is enjoyed as a precursor to a meal. A wise restaurateur should see research and planning as the parallel of a gripping appetizer. DO NOT forego diligent research.

This is quite possibly one of the biggest mistakes that a potential restaurant owner can make. Plenty of other successful restaurateurs have been in the trenches before you and many of them have shared their tried and true methods of not only getting out of the trenches but climbing to the top of the mountain. It may sound cliché, but why reinvent the wheel?

Focusing your energy on building upward by avoiding the negative experiences of others can only serve to make your business even greater.

Don’t Do It Alone

One of the first things that a restaurant owner needs to embrace is acceptance of the fact that this is not a one man show. Running a restaurant as if it is, is professional suicide. How many times have you walked into a restaurant and found but one single person there, doing it all?

If on occasion you have, it was likely not the best dining or service experience. It is virtually impossible to prep, cook, wait, serve, cashier and clean with any degree of service or quality considered a triumph.

Delegation often feels like a dirty word for new business owners. They have a great deal of time and money invested in their venture and it’s difficult to trust that anyone else will care as much or give as much for the cause of succeeding.

This is a mentality that must be abandoned immediately and replaced with thoughts of hiring and molding good people into an exquisite support system where everyone feels personally vested in the success and longevity of the restaurant. Trust must be an appropriately placed element of a restaurateur’s personal growth.

Carefully Groomed Operating Systems

Developing an operation’s manual can feel reasonably daunting. Ease the grind by envisioning your restaurant in picture perfect operation and then transfer your vision into written word.

Keep in mind that team of vested support staff and the guidance they will need in order to bring your established values to fruition. Networking and online resources can provide examples of well-written operations manuals. Don’t be afraid to mimic format, policies or procedures that apply well to your business model, selecting tidbits from multiple places to create your own manual.

Take the initiative to involve staff experience and perspective when revisions become an obvious necessity. As business climate evolves and changes, you may find it necessary, or wise, to revise your operations procedures and manuals. Like the rest of your business, see it as an ongoing work of art.

A comprehensive System for your restaurant will:

  • Accelerate Profitability. Avoid confusion during the start-up of your restaurant. Procedures, forms, and checklists keep things well organized and enforce established expectations. Getting routines smoothed out as quickly as possible is empowering for your staff, a sanity clincher for you and is a huge stride toward profitability.
  • Develop Your Professional Support Staff. Being organized and serious about your restaurant will attract good people who are dedicated and serious about what they have to offer. They expect fair and ethical systems for hiring employees and their desires to perform well must be supported with concise job descriptions, procedure manuals and an employee policy booklet.
  • Provide Concise Direction. A system communicates clear expectations to your staff. The results you receive will be in direct correlation to what you have provided your staff in the way of information and training. They want to be successful, you need them to be successful, so be sure to empower them with the resources they need to do just that.
  • Create Consistency. Systems make it possible for your employees to replicate the performance that creates a consistently positive experience for your guests. Consistency is the key to creating a great reputation and loyal, repeat customers who will refer others your way as well.
  • Help Raise Capital. Systems are evidence of an engaged, well-rounded business ownership. They are the result of developing, implementing and realization of a strong business plan. These things are all imperative when expansion capital is desired. Consistently working a solid plan reinforces credit worthiness and business stability in the eyes of lenders, who desire some form of reassurance that growth will not lead to the demise of your restaurant.
  • Give You Wings. Undeniably, part of the allure of owning a business is the hope that at some point in time you will be afforded more freedom to pursue other things in life that you enjoy. Being a captive of your business will only contribute to owner burnout, another issue that contributes widely to the fall of many a food establishment. Solid systems empower your staff to function at their peak, even in your absence.
  • Attract Buyers Should You Decide to Sell. Owner-dependent businesses pose more difficulty with selling and are less valuable than businesses capable of functioning well with minimal owner involvement. Prospective buyers are more enticed by a business opportunity that operates successfully with minimal owner participation.

Documenting your systems and operating procedures is the best way to detour major issues as well. Of course going into restaurant ownership, focusing on positive movement is always preferred, however, have the documentation to handle crisis if it should occur represents business wisdom and prudent planning.

Preparing an Expansive Operations Manual

What to Include:

A restaurant operating manual should cover in detail the following sections or categories:

  1. Kitchen and menu management
  2. Dining room management
  3. Bar and beverage management
  4. Human Resources
  5. Purchasing and inventory
  6. Staff training
  7. Sanitation and cleanliness
  8. Safety, security and emergency management
  9. Marketing, promotions and public relations
  10. Financial management
  11. Equipment management
  12. Facilities management

Each of these areas should contain clear, concise instruction on how to carry out day-to-day tasks, responsibilities and expectations. The idea is to provide well-planned procedures, policies, forms and checklists to guide and empower your staff.

Inevitably, there will be situations that arise where little to no guidance has been documented.

Remember that trust we discussed earlier? Your well trained, personally vested support staff should be afforded the authority to make reasonable decisions in your absence.

This furthers their personal investment in the company and if your systems have done their job well, the staff person’s decision will be a direct reflection of the values that your systems have instilled in them.

Each category should be addressed thoroughly so that a new person could easily navigate through daily tasks if needed on short notice and with little hands-on training.




Alsco would like to thank Elton Fawkes of Adage Furniture. Adage Furniture is a Western Australian family-owned business with WA’s largest stock holding of commercial grade chairs and tables. Adage Furniture also supplies custom designed and manufactured locally made products which enable them to deliver the complete package to clients, on time and on a budget. For more tips on how to grow your restaurant, café or bar, visit Adage Furniture’s Blog where there are a great number of resources for helping hospitality businesses succeed.

And of course if you’re starting up a new hospitality business or planning to refurbish, check out the range of furniture on the website or book an onsite appraisal.

For a wide range of fully-managed rental services for your restaurant, partner with Alsco. Alsco ensures you have a clean, hygienic restaurant both for your staff and customers. Call 1300 659 892 or visit to learn more.

Green Office Reminder Poster: Compost Food Scraps

Going green demands that everyone get on board with changing office procedures and habits.

We know your team is working hard enough already, so we created these handy posters to remind you of simple green ideas.

You can download them here and then print them. All you need is blu-tack, pushpins or glue.

Download PDF File (836KB)

Other simple ways to ‘green your office’ include using green products such as floor mats made from recycled materials and continuous cloth towel for hand drying.

Alsco Evolution Mats

Alsco’s range of commercial mats and industrial mats now includes the Evolution Mat. In addition to a great range of features including thicker pile and premium quality, these mats are made from recycled materials, eliminating the need for raw production materials. The re-engineered materials also generate a more efficient product which uses less water and energy in the cleaning process.

For your convenience, Alsco provides a fully managed rental service, supplying clean, undamaged mats every time. Alsco is committed to improvements that promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Contact Alsco to enjoy a Free Evolution Mat Trial.


Image courtesy: CSOFT International


What Everyone Ought to Know About Heart Attacks

about heart attack cardiac arrest defibrillator AED

Heart disease, especially heart attacks are the leading cause of death in Australia with over 20,000 cases being recorded according to data presented by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

These statistics are even more shocking when you compare it to the second leading cause of death in Australia, which is dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cerebrovascular diseases that barely make it to 50% of the total cases compared to heart disease.

Help save lives during a heart attack by having an automated external defibrillator in your own workplace. Here at Alsco, we just don’t provide health and safety equipment, we also help your business be a safer place to work in. Don’t wait until a heart attack occursGet a defibrillator installed in your workplace immediately.

Till you get one installed, find the location of your nearest AED using the user-friendly, efficient, Google maps based website Just type in your suburb or street name to find your nearest defibrillator or hospital.

Risk Factors of Heart Attacks

The first step to preventing and reducing the risk of heart attacks at the workplace is to learn what are the various risk factors of heart attacks.

Through extensive clinical and statistical studies gathered throughout the years, the risk factors have been categorised into two types of risk factors – major risk factors and contributing risk factors.

Major Risk Factors

Major risk factors heavily influence the chances of getting heart disease or heart attacks. These are major risk factors that one cannot change and they include:

Age – most people who die from heart disease and heart attacks usually are the age of 65 and up. This is why you can’t really avoid the increased chances of a heart attack as you grow older.

Sex – statistics have shown that men are more likely to have a heart attack than women and they even experience it earlier in life than compared to women.

Heredity – if your family has a history of heart disease and heart attacks, it is most likely that you too will have a high chance of acquiring these diseases from your heredity.

Race also plays a role in heredity risk factor when it comes to heart attacks since African Americans are more prone to higher blood pressure which also contributes to the risk of heart disease.

Contributing Risk Factors

Contributing risk factors, on the other hand, are factors you can influence to reduce the chances of heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes.

Tobacco smoking – smoking is a major independent risk factor that contributes to various health problems and not just heart attacks.

High blood cholesterol – people who have higher blood cholesterol are more prone to heart disease as well coupled with smoking and high blood pressure. Although you should remember that not all cholesterol is bad since High-density-lipoprotein (HDL) is actually very healthy in regulating the low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) which is the bad cholesterol.

High blood pressure – having high blood pressure will cause your heart muscles to thicken and stiffen up which leads to various problems of your heart’s proper function. High blood pressure increases the chance of kidney failures and strokes as well.

Obesity and overweight – people who have too much fat and are obese or overweight are more prone to heart diseases such as heart attacks and other health problems such as strokes. Obesity or being overweight also contributes to higher blood pressure and blood cholesterol, which makes it a really dangerous contributing risk factor.

Physical inactivity – living a sedentary lifestyle with little to no physical activities will make you more prone to heart attacks. Remember that regular exercise helps blood flow and prevents various heart related diseases including heart attacks.

Diabetes – another contributing risk factor which comes with the previously mentioned, being overweight or obese and having too many sweets in your diet will lead to diabetes. Not to mention diabetes also contributes to the risk of strokes and other heart diseases.

Diet and Nutrition – following through with diabetes; it is important to have proper diet and nutrition to prevent heart disease and heart attacks. What you eat greatly affects the the risks of heart attacks. Make sure your diet is packed with Omega-3 rich fish and nuts, low fat foods, antioxidant loaded berries. Here are some superfoods that we cooked up for you.

Alcohol – too much alcohol consumption will lead to an increase in blood pressure, which in turn can cause heart attacks, strokes, and even cancer.

Stress – different people have different reactions or responses to stress, but some studies have shown the link between heart disease and stress.

Illegal drug use – the use of illegal drugs and stimulants can trigger spasms in your heart and arteries which lead to heart attacks.

What You Can Do to Minimise the Risks of Heart Attacks at Your Workplace

As you can see there are a lot of risk factors to consider when it comes to heart attacks at your workplace. Although some of them can’t be prevented or avoided such as the age, sex, and heredity, there are plenty of risk factors that you can control to minimise the chances of a heart attack.

With that in mind, here are few tips you could implement at your workplace to reduce the chances of heart attacks amongst your colleagues and improve the productivity of your business as well.

  • One of the first steps to take in your workplace is to support and acknowledge the risks of heart attacks in the first place. Making the necessary changes to reduce the risks of heart attacks is not an easy task, but if your employees know that you have their support then rest assured those changes will be easily implemented in no time.
  • Once there is a commitment from the management, you should start to organise an orientation of the risks, and the program and changes you will be implementing at your workplace to reduce the chances of heart attacks. There will be a lot of planning, resource management, and cooperation from your employees so make sure you discuss everything before moving forward with anything.
  • If your business has a cafeteria or serves any sort of food and drinks, it is a great idea to introduce healthier food options for you and your employees.
  • Another great idea is to set up an exercise program for everyone – for your employees and for you as well. It can be a simple routine with exercises  such as jogging, pushups, and so on, that do not need any equipment, just extra clothes.
  • Implementing longer breaks or adding more break times for your employees will reduce stress levels significantly. Nobody wants to work for extended periods of time, and not to mention, it is good to get some rest or to stretch out a bit so your body can feel more energised and be more productive.
  • Incorporating first aid kits and automated external defibrillators in your workplace can greatly help save lives and reduce the chances of deaths, accidents, and health related problems.

Reduce the risk of heart attacks in your workplace. Give us a call on 1300 077 391 and our friendly customer service representative will answer all your inquiries about first aid kits, automated external defibrillators, and much more. Speak to an expert today!


Photo Credit: Sharon Sinclair / EKG Technicial Salary

Local Rugby Club Tackles Community Health Issues Front-On

Sport and recreation helps build a stronger, healthier and happier communities. It does not just contribute to the overall wellbeing of the players, but it impacts its fans and supporters as well.

Alsco, as a part of its commitment towards creating safer, healthier and greener workplaces and communities, supports Melbourne Rugby Union Club (MRUFC) and its drive towards promoting a healthier community. Just recently they have got their Level 3 certification for Good Sports.

The Good Sports Program

The Good Sports program is helping sporting clubs across Australia to set higher standards off the field. It’s helping tackle key health issues within the local community including alcohol, smoking, obesity and mental health. The program aims to make sports clubs safer, healthier and more family friendly by promoting initiatives including responsible alcohol management.

Level 3 Re-accreditation

The Melbourne Rugby Union Football Club (MRUFC), based at Orrong Park, is one of the oldest and most successful rugby clubs in Victoria. Recently it was awarded re-accreditation for Level 3 as part of the Good Sports program for their work as leaders in reducing the link between alcohol and sport.

There are a number of initiatives under way to educate the club’s members and the local community that the club is building on its reputation and becoming even more inclusive and supportive.

Peter McBride, Secretary MRUFC, said that leaders within the club, both on and off the pitch, were helping to promote positive messages and setting new benchmarks. The club is also one of the first sporting clubs in Australia to introduce an Illicit Drug Use Policy in conjunction with the Good Sports Program.

Caring About Its Members

“This year we have implemented what we are calling ‘a new game plan’ at our club. At the heart of this initiative is the health and wellbeing of our five hundred plus members. We want everyone involved with this club to feel connected to a safe, family-orientated environment. This is evident in our growth across the board, but particularly in junior player numbers this season,” McBride said.

Bill Karamtos, Good Sports Victorian Manager, said alcohol is a leading cause of preventable illness and death in Australia, and breaking the link between alcohol and sport has never been more important.

“By joining Good Sports and achieving accreditation, The Melbourne Rugby Union Football Club is showing the community that they care about their players and members,” he said. “Congratulations to the club for leading the way in changing Australia’s binge drinking culture.”

About Melbourne Rugby Union Club

Melbourne Rugby Union Club (MRUFC) is at the heart of Victorian Rugby with about twenty-five teams including Senior Men’s, Women’s, Diversity, Masters and Junior Pathway and Competition Grades. We are well represented at State level and had two players from our Women’s team represent Australia in the Wallaroos at the 2014 World Cup. We have some of the best facilities and off-field support of all Victorian Clubs.

About Good Sports Level 3

MRUFC are a Good Sports Level 3 accredited club. Sporting clubs such as MRUFC play a significant role in the community and have a responsibility to members and their families. MRUFC have chosen to join over 6,500 clubs across Australia taking part in the Australian Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program. Through Good Sports, the club is committed to managing alcohol responsibly and ensuring smoke-free areas, which MRUFC believe will help provide a healthy, safe and family friendly environment.

Through Good Sports MRUFC aims to:

  • Eliminate risky drinking in the club through the promotion of a responsible approach to the sale and consumption of alcohol in the club
  • Protect juniors and other young people from the misuse of alcohol in and around the club
  • Provide a responsible smoke-free club environment, through designated smoking areas

At Level 3, MRUFC are committed to:

  • Not selling or consuming alcohol without an appropriate liquor license
  • Training bar staff in Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA)
  • Ensuring smoke-free areas are available
  • Organising safe and responsible social events and finding alternate prizes/fundraiser, rather than alcohol
  • Thinking ahead and ensuring players and members get home safely after functions
  • Formalising and implementing the club’s alcohol management policy

Good Sports is Australia’s largest preventive health program for the community sporting sector, with over 6,500 involved nationally. For more information about Good Sports visit or find us on Good Sports media enquiries: / 0430 948 380 / 03 9611 6109

You Too Can Support The Melbourne Rugby Union Club

A business could consider sponsoring a particular team, or a particular upgrade of services or facilities. You can support them for a good cause while getting some great exposure for your business. Each team wears their own set of Jerseys, so sponsorship of a team could include the companies logo on the jersey.

They also run a whole range of social events, from home game BBQ’s, Presidents Club Lunches, to night time functions. A company could choose to support a particular event, with the financial backing of the event, or supplies.

All sponsors receive recognition in their weekly newsletter, and our website. You can visit their site for sponsorship enquiries.

Alsco provides fully-managed rental services like reliable first aid kits. For injuries and emergencies, count on Alsco – committed to maintain safety and compliance. Enquire now!



Alsco would like to thank Tyrone Landsman, the President of Melbourne Rugby Union Football Club and Emily Lyons for this article. Melbourne Rugby Union Club (MRUFC) is at the heart of Victorian Rugby with about twenty- five teams including Senior Men’s, Women’s, Diversity, Masters and Junior Pathway and Competition Grades. They are well represented at State level and had two players from our Women’s team represent Australia in the Wallaroos at the 2014 World Cup. They also have some of the best facilities and off-field support of all Victorian Clubs. For more of MRUFC, visit their website at

Good Energy Saving Habits – Turn Off the Lights Poster

Do you sometimes despair of your dearly beloved workmates remembering to take those little steps needed to ‘green your office’?

Well, despair no more! Download and print our Good Energy Savings Habits posters – whichever size suits you best, A3 or A4 – and remind your recalcitrant colleagues of easy ways to help the environment.

Download A4 Poster [PDF 279KB]

Download A3 Poster [PDF 279KB]

Greener Alsco Continuous Cloth Towel

Alsco offers variety of solutions to help make your workplace a greener environment like continuous Cloth Towel that offers important benefits with less impact in the environment. Use cotton towels which are an environmentally friendlier option than paper. An international study has shown that most of the people prefer to dry their hands using cloth towels than using paper alternatives.

For even faster service, call Alsco now! Our representatives are waiting for your call.

Image courtesy:  Benjamin Linh VU