What cleaning contractors need to know about WELL - part two

10th of September 2019 Article by Ron Segura
What cleaning contractors need to know about WELL - part two

Following the launch of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in the US some time ago, there is now the International WELL Building Institute. This focuses not so much on buildings but on the people working in those buildings – and cleaning contractors are very much involved. In the second part of his exclusive blog for ECJ, Ron Segura, president of Segura Associates, takes a closer look at the role of cleaning in the WELL programme.

Let’s say you are a building service contractor and one of your clients wants to be WELL certified.  While your services may have little involvement with nourishment, water, light, and fitness, except possibly for cleaning a fitness centre, it will have a huge role to play in the other concepts mentioned in the last edition, most specifically protecting indoor air quality and ensuring building user comfort.  Among the steps you would need to take to help ensure your client is WELL certified would include the following:

• Ensure equipment used in the facility abides by GreenSeal 42 Standard for Commercial and Institutional Cleaning Services for Powered Equipment Use/Maintenance Programme or
the equivalent.

Well designed

• All battery powered equipment must be equipped with environmentally preferable gel batteries.

• Equipment must be designed with user safeguards as well as rubber bumpers that help prevent damage to building surfaces.

• Wall-mounted auto-dilution systems are a must to limit direct exposure to chemicals and provide proper dilution.

• Cleaning workers must be trained on how to perform specific cleaning steps, how to reduce injuries to themselves and others, how to eliminate exposure to hazardous materials, and must be expected to wear protective gear when needed.

• Training on the use of green cleaning solutions is required, and cleaning workers must take annual classes on the use of these products.

• Cleaning contractors must also be taught on how to purchase green cleaning solutions to promote sustainability.

Extensive protocol

The actual cleaning protocol is very extensive, reflecting how important cleaning is to WELL certification. It even goes into such details as how often the undersides of entry mats should be cleaned (at least once per day); why all product labels must follow the Globally Harmonised System for labelling; as well as the establishment of a cleaning and disinfecting protocol to determine where disinfectants and sanitisers are needed in a facility as well as how often they are to be used. The goal here is to help prevent pathogens from becoming immune to these products.

Because the cleaning-related aspects of the WELL program are extensive, many cleaning contractors turn to cleaning consultants to help guide them through the WELL ‘cleaning maze’.  In some ways, it is similar to other training programmes such as ISSA’s CIMS programme, but with far more detail.

The big question now is, will the WELL programme grow?  By all indications, it is growing and will develop further.  A key reason for this is that it is so specifically designed to help protect human health. Also, according to chairman and ceo Rick Fedrizzi, who has been associated with green cleaning and sustainability issues for more than 20 years, the programme is not costly.

Immediate impact

“When companies recognise that they can implement WELL for less than what their employees spend on coffee in a year, with the possibility of greater (worker) productivity, fewer absences due to illness, and lower insurance costs, they become interested,” says Fedrizzi. He adds WELL certified buildings “can have an immediate and measurable impact on the health and well-being of employees, tenants and customers, faculty and students, and families who occupy (WELL certified) buildings.”


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