COVID-19 has brought a lot of change to our world recently, but one thing we know is that the snow will still fall, and the beginning of summer means the beginning of winter weather preparations.
Click here to view Powerhouse’s Snow and Ice Services
Are You Ready?
Consider your snow-free parking lot and parking garage a brand asset. Create a clean and blank slate to welcome your clients, visitors, and guests and ensure your brand is well-represented from the moment they step on to your property.
Choosing a snow and ice management vendor is step one in preparing for the winter season. Powerhouse’s Director of Exterior Services, Eric Brownlee said – “You and the vendor team should discuss both field quality expectations, and more importantly, communication expectations. Who will be the point of contact? How will work orders be invoiced and communicated? Communication is a key success factor in any program, especially one that has a direct impact on your brand and can quickly be impacted by variables, like weather, that are often unpredictable.”
Here are the best practices recommended for choosing a snow and ice management partner:
1. Start Early
Give yourself at least 3 months to:
- Write a formal scope, or RFP, if required
- Develop a transition plan
- Develop a budget
Starting early will ensure that you have the best selection of providers. It will also ensure a smooth transition and better pricing.
2. Develop a Scope
Create a detailed list of what services you want. Gather site maps so that your providers can give you accurate pricing. Make sure to call out any special requirements in your documentation.
3. Understand Available Pricing Options
Snow and ice management pricing can be challenging to understand due to unpredictablie weather patterns. Do you want to go with a seasonal price that gives you cost certainty or a per event model? Walk through the various scenario pros and cons with your provider to come up with what will work best for you.
4. What About Safety?
Snow removal services can be risky from a safety and environmental standpoint. Ensure that the provider has the proper safety protocols, insurance coverages, and environmental protocols in place.
5. Execution Assessment
Execution is the most important factor in a snow and ice management program. The best pricing in the world does not matter, if the vendors don’t show up, or show up with faulty equipment. Understanding the provider’s ability to react in a major storm event is critical to success. Do they subscribe to weather forecasting services to stay informed and keep your properties updated?
Discuss systems and processes with any providers that you are considering. Make sure you will receive reports. Ask how they communicate with their vendors.
Partnering with the right company will lead to success for your program. By taking the time to fully vet companies you will find one that offers a team that understands the value of your asset, offers solutions that can mitigate long term expense, keeps your properties safe and mitigates winter weather risk. Every program, no matter how long it has been in place, or how recently it has been updated, is open for improvement.
Whether you are developing a new program or considering changing a current one, we recommend you reach out to your trusted providers. Powerhouse and the dedicated team of professionals in our Exterior Services division would be an excellent place to start.
- De-icing Services
- Snow Plowing
- Snow Hauling
- Pre-treatment Applications
- Sidewalk Snow/Ice Management
- Parking Garage Snow Management
Exterior Maintenance is an investment, not a nuisance. Make this asset work for you by finding the right team who can unlock the value of your landscape assets and snow management for your company and your facilities.
Powerhouse is your solution. Click here to see how we can help or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Let’s face it. The U.S. has lagged behind our European peers in public restroom design amenities for years. Coronavirus has made that blindingly obvious. It’s one of the many reasons why reopening is being done in measured steps. We have public potty anxiety—and for good reason—it’s downright dangerous.
As our country begins to reopen and safety measures are put in place by virtually any entity that operates a public space, one of the trickier questions being posed is what to do about public restrooms. It’s inevitable that people will have to use the facilities when they venture out, which is now a more unsettling journey than ever. And since Americans have always been a little wary of public restrooms, how can their health and safety be ensured in these new uncertain times?
Consider that most public restrooms don’t have lids on toilets. Just one flush releases a potentially toxic “toilet plume” of droplets that coats the air and surroundings with potential infection. This plume can travel six feet in every direction. Science Daily has reported confirming that coronavirus can live in human waste up to 33 days after a person tests negative. Americans were already nervous about public restrooms and now the unpleasant high-pressure flushes that throw droplets six feet have crossed into a more threatening anxiety. So much for social distancing.
There are ways to ease anxiety over using public restrooms. Below are some of the solutions being implemented to help elevate sanitation and provide peace-of-mind.
- Adding lids to public toilets
- Adding touchless flushing
- Installing touchless soap dispensers and faucets
- Replacing hand blow dryers with paper towel dispensers
- Installing touchless door opening solutions
- Hiring restroom monitors: limiting capacity, supervising social distancing and cleaning as often as possible
- Cleaning the restroom every 30 minutes
- Retiring every other urinal to enhance social distancing
- Requiring masks before entering
Another route some are taking, though extreme, is to simply not reopen until proven methods for how to safely operate a restroom are in place.
A recent Healthy Handwashing Survey by Bradley Corporation has shown that “78% of Americans are now washing their hands six times a day and that 20% of those Americans are washing their hands sixteen times a day.” Most Americans are now reporting they believe it’s ‘extremely important’ to have touchless options when they use public restrooms. This data has increased demand for all kinds of touchless fixtures in restrooms.
Kohler and American Standard have also reported increased demand for touchless fixtures in the wake of the coronavirus. While touchless fixtures do solve some concerns regarding using public restrooms during the pandemic, there are other struggles that are more difficult to remedy.
Powerhouse is Your Solution
One thing is for certain in these changing times – the public’s demand for safety and security will continue to drive these changes. In the coming weeks and months, we will be watching to see what kind of solutions are implemented to satisfy public health and safety and peace-of-mind. As these answers begin to emerge, know that Powerhouse is here for you with turnkey solutions to guarantee you stay at the forefront of each reopening phase.
Visit our website or email us to learn about our COVID-19 Services
Stay up-to-date on CDC Guidelines for Businesses and Workplaces, as well as all other COVID-19 related recommendations.
Powerhouse has been a committed partner and sponsor of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Dallas since 2017. “JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Their strength lies in their exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D.”
In this video is Reese, a JDRF Youth Ambassador who was diagnosed with T1D in November 2019 is thanking Powerhouse, her corporate sponsor. We’ve been happy to support this organization for the past 3 years. Watching Reese’s message brought tears to our eyes and reminds us why it’s so important to always be a helper.
Thank you, Reese, for your heartfelt message. We are more inspired than ever to #TurnType1intoTypeNone.
JDRF’s Vision sounds simple “a world without type 1 diabetes,” but their efforts are massive. “Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults suddenly. It has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent it. At present, there is no cure.” JDRF has many advocacy and research efforts and a strong community with a mission to “improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.”
More About JDRF
Donate to JDRF
In T1D, your pancreas stops producing insulin—a hormone the body needs to get energy from food. This means a process your body does
However, insulin is not a cure for diabetes. Even with the most vigilant disease management, a significant portion of your day will be spent with either high or low blood-sugar levels. These fluctuations place people with T1D at risk for potentially life-threatening hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic episodes as well as devastating long-term complications such as kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, blindness and amputation. Learn more about T1D.naturally and automatically becomes something that now requires your daily attention and manual intervention. If you have T1D, you must constantly monitor your blood-sugar level, inject or infuse insulin through a pump, and carefully balance these insulin doses with your eating and activity throughout the day and night.
Cleaning, disinfecting, sanitizing, sterilizing, decontaminating – there are so many different words for removing germs to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but they don’t all mean the same thing. As best practices and protocols are being developed for the eventual reopening of retail stores and other public spaces, it’s important to know how to properly clean a myriad of items that employees and customers will encounter.
Damage can be an expensive and frustrating result of improper care or cleaning, so it’s crucial that employees are knowledgeable on cleaning and disinfecting protocols for the various items within a space. For example, some companies are experiencing thousands of dollars in damage a day to their EFT and POS systems from simple spray disinfectants. A solution for these items is to install protective guards or clean with a 70% alcohol wipe.
When reopening locations, the first step in this new normal is to re-evaluate your existing cleaning program and be sure you’re aware of all CDC disinfecting rules.
Know the Difference
First, know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing.
Cleaning removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects. leaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting Soft Surfaces
Soft surfaces, often overlooked during the sanitizing process, hold germs just the same and should be added to your cleaning program.
- Launder items, if possible
- Store non-essential items elsewhere, is possible
- Clean with soap and water
- Disinfect with EPA-registered household disinfectant
- Use a hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant
Disinfecting Sneeze Guards
Sneeze guards are probably the newest addition to the space. Understanding how to properly clean them is important. If your sneeze guard is plexiglass or acrylic, here are some crucial cleaning tips.
- Do use a soft, clean cloth to remove dust first
- Do use a peroxide-based solution that is less than 40% peroxide
- Do use mild soap and water if other cleaners aren’t available
- Don’t use acetone, bleach or solvent-based cleaner
Let Powerhouse Be Your Solution
From installing recommended barriers and hands-free door opening solutions to disinfection cleaning services, Powerhouse is here for you. For many of our customers, we’ve moved from plan to execution in a matter of days in response to OSHA and CDC safety recommendations. We understand that health and safety is the highest priority, acting with a sense of urgency ensuring initiatives are completed as quickly as possible.
- Barrier Protection Installs
- Base Exterior Maintenance Programs
- Dark and Idle Property Security Protocols
- Dining Room FFE Reconfiguration/Storage
- EPA Registered Disinfectant Surface Treatments
- Hands-Free Door Opener Installs
- Limited Service Exterior Maintenance
- Location Reopening Support
- Vacant Space Boards-ups
The world has changed drastically in the last month. The things that many of us took for granted; freedom of movement, good health, economic prosperity, and social proximity to work friends, personal friends, and family have taken a pause for the good of the world. We are all being asked to make personal sacrifice for the good of the whole.
We want to take this opportunity to express our condolences to all of those around the world that are suffering and have lost the battle to COVID-19.
To those brave men and women at the front lines of this battle in the healthcare field, we give a special thanks to you and your families. We know that you are walking into danger every day. We see your stories and are in awe of your courage and perseverance. Your actions are inspiring and encourage us to take the necessary steps to help flatten the curve.
As an essential business we take seriously our commitment to keep our clients up and running during this time of crisis. We will keep doing our job so others can continue doing theirs. Of course, our first priority is the health and safety of our team members, their families, vendor partners, clients, and the general public.
We thank our dedicated field and office support teams for the mission-critical work they are doing to support our clients. For our clients with essential businesses, the Powerhouse team is here supporting you in these circumstances , keeping your assets operational and safe. For our clients with dark locations we are here for you during this time and when you return to operations.
The Powerhouse vision statement is “to have a positive and lasting impact on people”. We stand strong in our belief that this vision will guide us through these unchartered waters. This is new for all of us. It’s key to remember that patience, love, understanding, and kindness are never in short supply.
God bless and stay well,
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There are now more people than ever working from home. For those not included in the 7% of US workers who were working from home before COVID-19, I’m sure you’re learning that it can take some getting used to. It is important to take preventative steps in your home office setup to prevent common injuries and boost morale. Below are some Home Ergonomic Tips & Tricks that will help you stay healthy while working from your new home office. And remember if you have to go out in public, be sure to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Working From Home Ergonomic Tips & Tricks
Provided By: Higginbotham
Working from home comes with its own set of challenges. If an employee finds themselves working from home for a prolonged period of time, it is especially important to take steps to prevent ergonomic injuries. Taking small steps can go a long way to injury prevention at home.
Healthy at Home
Ergonomics is defined as the science of fitting a workspace to an individual’s needs. Ergonomics aims to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing discomfort and the likelihood of injury.
Many factors of ergonomics may be taken for granted in the workplace and be severely lacking in a home environment. For example, while at the office, you likely have access to a suitable desk and chair, but when you work from home, you might not have an ideal setup.
Poor ergonomics can lead to not only reduced employee efficiency, but also a number of health issues that may have long-lasting effects, including damage to muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons. Musculoskeletal disorders can be caused by a wide variety of tasks, many of which may seem innocent, such as sitting with poor posture or having to bend or reach repeatedly.
In order to make your home a suitable work environment, there are a number of factors that you should consider for your workspace, including your:
- Chair—A sturdy chair that supports the curvature of the spine is ideal for working. Chairs should also allow for adjustments so that your feet can rest flat on the floor and your thighs are parallel to it. While typing, your arms should be parallel to the floor as well.
- Desk—Use a work surface, such as a desk or table, that has space underneath for your legs and feet. If a work surface is too low, adjust your chair accordingly. The situation may also be able to be corrected using sturdy supports to boost the legs of either the work surface or the chair. Cushion your wrists from the surface edge with padding or a wrist rest.
- Screen—Arrange your laptop or monitor screen directly in front of you and approximately an arm’s length away with the top of the screen at, or slightly below, eye level.
- Layout—Organize files and materials so that you don’t have to constantly bend and strain to reach them.
- Equipment—When using a keyboard and mouse, keep them on the same surface. Position your arms so that your hands are aligned with, or slightly below, your elbows. Make sure your wrists are straight and your upper arms stay close to your body. If you use the phone frequently, put it on speaker or use a headset in order to avoid having to cradle the phone between your head and shoulder.
In addition to arranging your workspace properly, you should also be aware of new risk factors that may be present. Be careful not to overload electrical outlets or create tripping hazards with power strips or extension cords running across the floor of your home.
Even while at the office, employees shouldn’t spend eight straight hours sitting at their desks. This applies to working at home as well. Take regular breaks to stand, stretch and move around a bit.
Working from home has its pros and cons. While your home may not be the ideal work environment, utilizing the strategies in this article can go a long way toward preventing unnecessary injuries.
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