New Respect For Janitorial Workers

by Michael Richmond

Though rarely seen, does it surprise you to learn that the Census Bureau tells us that there are more than 70,000 janitorial or maintenance services with more than one million janitors in our country? Janitorial services has been an unchanging business for more than a score of years is now in dramatic change and has become apart of the Green revolution. Most of us have paid scant attention to this industry as the workers come and went in the middle of the night leaving a freshly cleaned office for the daytime workers who show up each morning. It could be said that the janitorial worker is the silent and forgotten segment of the American workforce.

Suddenly, the Green revolution has come of age, and there are new rules, mandates, and expectations that our economy will incorporate the principles of environmentally-friendly practices. But who will implement all these new rules, standards, and practices? They will not happen by rhetoric, force of law, or well-wishing. It will take a newly trained workforce to carry out the duties of making homes, schools, offices, and buildings that have determined to be Green?

There is now a newer and more urgent duty for janitorial services than the traditional sweeping, mopping, and emptying the trash. The new generation of janitors must now concern themselves with new Green products, new Green equipment, and host of new mandates. To achieve to these new standards, janitorial services need more training than how to operate a scrubber or vacuum. They require greater training and certification to do the job right.

Consider that these people are the custodians of public health at a different plane than the medical workers. It might be said that our janitors are the first line of defense for protecting the public health. Of course, the medical workers are the last line of defense in protecting the health of our country.

Cleaning and sanitation is the most simple form of janitorial work. Chemical used in the workplace are an important part that dramatically affects all of us who work in buildings. Disease control, allergies and asthma issues, and chronic health issue are now a part of the cleaning equation.

It is finally time to realize who are the people that “Bring the Green.” They are the long-forgotten workers also known as the custodians and janitors of the evening shift. It is a recognition long overdue to appreciate the people who work to keep our buildings clean or our health protected. Our Green theories become practice in the hands of these hard-working custodians.

Will is cost more? Probably. Is it worth the moderate cost it will take to graduate these workers from simple laborers to trained technicians capable of implementing the Green practices needed to protect our health as well as clean the building. I think these folks deserve the New Respect of co-workers in the promotion of your business success and your health.

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