Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Spt-Oct 2016 Contents 40 INCLEAN September/October 2016
Adjust the harness to the user
Most backpack vacuums are lightweight with an ergonomic harness
design based on the harnesses of mountaineering backpacks. However,
even a lightweight backpack vacuum still needs to be adjusted to the
individual user to maximise comfort and minimise effort.
Start by loosening the straps, then fasten and tighten the waist belt
so that the weight of the vacuum rests on the hips of the user. This
ensures that the strong muscles of the legs will carry the weight of the
unit. Adjust the shoulder straps just enough so that the unit sits close
to the body, but not to the point where the weight of the unit transfers
to the shoulders. Lastly, fasten and adjust the sternum strap.
The two primary points of contact should be at the base of the
spine just above the hips and between the shoulder blades. A poor
fitting backpack vacuum can create fatigue of the neck, shoulders
and back. When properly fitted, the backpack keeps the spine
straight and forces the user to bend at the knees, helping to protect
the wearer from injury.
Vacuum using the ‘windshield wiper’ technique
When using a backpack vacuum to clean low-pile commercial carpet
or hard flooring, the technique is different than the technique you use
with an upright. Instead of pushing the wand back and forth, keep the
wand as close to the body as possible and twist the torso, sweeping the
wand in wide arcs like a windshield wiper (the further the wand gets
away from the body, the more likely the user will get fatigued).
By using the windshield wiper technique, the cleaning path widens
from the width of the floor tool to well over a yard, covering more
ground per step, and the user expends the least amount of effort,
Upgrade your harness
Always look to upgrade your backpack vacuum harness. Harnesses
with a thicker back and shoulder pads are much more comfortable
for contact points, making the task of vacuuming much easier
for cleaners. Harnesses with lumbar support and strong, easy-to-
adjust sternum straps can also make the task of vacuuming easier.
Increasing vacuuming comfort can also reduce cleaner downtime
from having to take the vacuum on and off and help cleaners finish
vacuuming tasks faster.
Getting the most out of
backpack vacuum cleaners
Along with its ergonomic benefits, backpack vacuum
cleaners can greatly increase cleaning efficiency and
productivity among cleaners. Not only can they reduce
the strain caused to the body when vacuuming, they
can also easily transition from carpets to hard floors
to stairways, and remove more dirt than their upright
counterparts. Here are some tips for cleaners to getting
the most from a backpack vacuum:
To help ensure a safe and quick clean-up after a serious flood, the
Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification
(IICRC) has provided some tips for reducing property damage and
limiting health risks associated with water damage.
“When flooding occurs, it’s important to react quickly but
appropriately in order to mitigate the damage,” explained Scott Armour,
IICRC’s mould removal specialist certification program chairman.
“The IICRC has two international standards, the S500 for water
restoration and the S520 for mould remediation, which have been
written by a consensus of industry experts and should be used as the
basis for decisions and actions when cleaning up after a flood. These
standards will help the building owner and contractor assure the job
is done safely and completely.”
Before entering a premise where flood damage is present, those in
charge need to make sure it is safe first by checking for things like
electrical hazards and structural damage, and also using proper
protective gear like boots, gloves and respirators.
Then, says the IICRC, follow the below tips:
1. Act quickly
The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits keeping
building components wet, so time is of the essence in a flood
aftermath. Since mould grows within 48 – 72 hours, it is best to aim
to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours.
Call in a professional to help and make sure you understand your
insurance policy, as some only cover mould damage up to a certain
amount, while others don’t provide any reimbursement for mould.
2. Ventilate affected areas to prevent mould growth
Mould loves moisture and organic materials such as paper. To mitigate
or slow down damage, open windows if weather permits or place fans
inside rooms to keep air moving and maintain moderate temperatures.
Work toward the fan when cleaning to minimise cross contamination.
3. Assess damage to items and materials
Assess the type of water (rainwater, river water or bacteria-filled
sewage etc.) absorbed by items. There are ways to salvage
speciality items but the decision on whether to save or trash an item
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Reducing the impact of
flood and water damage
in your facility
It is an unfortunate fact of life that heavy rains and
strong stor ms can often lead to flooding and water
damage within facilities. While it isn’t always possible
to protect or prepare a facility, business premise
or home from this kind of flooding, there are ways
facility managers and cleaners can minimise the risks
associated with flooding and water damage to people,
property and infrastructure.
CARPET & RESTORATION
There are ways cleaners can protect or prepare
a facility from flooding and water damage
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