To get the best out of your floor cleaning machines it’s essential that operatives are fully trained in operating and maintaining them, as Gordon McVean, international sales and marketing director for Truvox International, explains.
Education, training and product knowledge are crucial for floor cleaning operatives, regardless of whether they are part of an in-house team, or employed by an outside contractor. Floor maintenance is a particularly special acquired skill, and the best training programs will teach people to use equipment in the most efficient, productive and safe ways possible.
Manufacturers have a role to play
Floor cleaning machine manufacturers have a big role to play in this – as clients now fully expect them to be partners rather than mere vendors. In the 21st century cleaning sector it’s not enough simply to sell the machines and walk away, distributors who want to develop and maintain their customer base need to prove they are ‘in it for the long run’. Providing initial and on-going support in the form of equipment training is an excellent way to do this.
Training and education not only boosts health and safety, and enables the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene to be achieved, it also helps to control costs, as machines are used more efficiently.
Good battery maintenance, storage facilities and care, the correct dosage of chemicals – all these play a part in getting the most out of your machine. Teaching operatives about these issues, is important, and a regular training schedule enables them to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and trends in floor cleaning technology.
A hands-on approach
The hands-on approach, with plenty of practical demonstrations, is one of the best ways to train cleaning operatives on floor maintenance, and it’s best to take this in stages.
The first step is to emphasise the importance of effective floor care – including the contribution it makes to health and well-being, infection control, and the safety of anyone using the facilities in question.
Once these fundamental points have been established it will be time to move on to the procedures themselves – from simple vacuuming through to more complicated tasks such as how to strip, clean and refinish hard floors.
Address outdated methods
Any training should also address outdated floor care methods, which have ceased to be effective but may have become a habit. Floor surfacing materials, and the machines that clean and maintain them, have not stood still in terms of their design and development, so this means that cleaning methods need to adapt and improve too. The way floor care is performed today is not necessarily the way it was done 10 or 15 years ago.
Accredited bodies can also contribute to training and development and should cover a wide range of cleaning skills and issues, including many units dedicated to floor care such as:
- Suction cleaning of hard or soft floor coverings
- Auto scrubber drying
- Buffing hard floors
- Machine scrubbing and drying (with a wet suction machine)
- Cylindrical brush machines
- Carpet skimming
- Carpet extraction cleaning
- Machine sweeping