College Planning & Management

MAR 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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I MPACT O N L EARNING SOLVING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS, ONE PIECE AT A TIME project Student Union Building SNAPSHOT PROJECT: Student Union Building INSTITUTION: Large University in Washington COMPANY NAME: ProTeam, The Vacuum Company WEBSITE: The use of ergonomically designed backpack vacuums allows for easy maneuverability in a variety of campus spaces where the ability to move around a wide variety of fixtures and furnishings to clean different types of surfaces is important. THE CHALLENGE Kurt Oglesby manages custodial operations for the student union building of a large university in Washington. Like many large schools, the university mandates that green chemicals and equipment be used on campus including CRI-approved vacuums, which must pass stringent independent laboratory testing. In addition to the university's requirements, Oglesby has his own priorities when it comes choosing a vacuum. "There's a lot of repeat motion and stress injuries in the cleaning industry," says Oglesby. "In looking out for my employees, I make sure they have ergonomic equipment to protect them and make their jobs easier." who navigate heavy student and staff usage to clean 257,000 square feet of facility space, including offices, food service and dining, meeting rooms, ballrooms and public lounges. The majority of Oglesby's employees are petite female users between 5-feet and 5-feet 5-inches tall. It was crucial that he find a vacuum that would fit comfortably on smaller frames. Many staff members were resistive, thinking that it would be more taxing to carry a backpack than to push an upright. Oglesby worked to win them over gradually, first implementing in areas where the benefits of the backpack design were obvious, like dining areas. THE SOLUTION Looking to give his employees the latest ergonomic innovation, Oglesby recently adopted the ProTeam Super Coach Pro 6 backpack vacuum. Its FlexFit articulating harness takes the already ergonomic backpack design to a new level of comfort. "The harness on the new machine is superior," says Oglesby. "It moves more with you and doesn't pull against the body. There is more articulation between the upper and lower portions of the harness, letting the custodian bend and move without the vacuum shifting around." The student union has 12 full-time custodial employees editor's REVIEW A clean environment is a healthy environment, and studies have shown time and time again that students learn better, have better attendance records and remain healthy themselves in clean facilities. An institution that works to find the best solutions for its custodial staff indicates an attention to detail that reflects positively on all aspects of campus management. IMPACT ON LEARNING "The Super Coach Pro 6 vacuum is so much faster for them to maneuver between tables and chairs," says Oglesby. "After the staff gets used to it, they think, 'Why didn't I always do this?'" Eventually, Oglesby would like his staff to use the Super Coach Pro 6 on all types of hard flooring and carpeting, eliminating the need for dust mops. Oglesby has observed less dust in the air and on surfaces — an irritant to both asthma and allergy sufferers. As they adopt the Super Coach Pro in more areas, the improvement in indoor air quality is noticeable, improving student and staff health. IOL MARCH 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 33

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