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First Day of ISSA Show Centers on Education

Topics range from labor shortages to industry standards.

October 11, 2022

ISSA Show North America 2022 opened on Monday with a variety of education sessions on issues of interest to building service contractors and in-house staff and facility mangers. With topics ranging from labor shortages and inclusion and diversity to indoor air quality and industry standards and certifications, there was an education session for everyone.

Wes Knight, chief information security officer (CISO), director of government services at Needling Worldwide, LLC (a management consulting service with headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina) led So Many Standards, So Little Time. Knight discussed the challenges cleaning businesses face as they try to wade through a sea of standards and compliances.

Knight compared the overwhelming number of standards to be met to a runaway freight train. He further applied the old adage about seeing a light at the end of the tunnel—only to find another train heading straight for you.

Knight outlined the current compliance landscape for his audience as follows:

  • Risk assessment
  • Vulnerability assessment and management
  • Governance oversight
  • Training and awareness
  • Cost/Benefits analysis
  • Policies and standards
  • Business continuity management
  • Incident response management
  • Third-party requirements
  • IT requirements
  • Security requirements

Given the staggering list, Knight stressed the importance of not trying to tackle what needs to be addressed totally on one’s own and advised seeking help. “You can’t do it well by yourself,” he emphasized.

Driving Business Value Through Healthy Buildings was presented by Matt Molinaro, senior program leader, R&D, and Jennifer Gels, V.P. of marketing, global area disinfection, institutional at Ecolab, Inc. (a provider of water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions). Together, they spoke on the evolution of the concept of healthy buildings and the importance of using the healthiness of your building to demonstrate value to occupants, workers, and clients.

According to Molinaro, the following benefits of a healthy building are clear:

  • People perform better
  • Occupants get sick less
  • Buildings become more valuable.

The presenters also identified four pillars of a healthy building:

  • Proper hygiene
  • Water quality
  • Air quality
  • Positive experience

In order to further demonstrate the importance of establishing value through a healthy building, Ecolab has created an online guide that you can access here.

At The ROI of Clean Air, Dinesh Wadhwani, CEO and founder of Thinklite Air (a multinational technology company headquartered in Massachusetts) covered the topic of indoor air quality a thought leader, GBAC advocate, and innovator in the industry.

During the presentation, Wadhwani stated that, due to COVID-19, the entire world is recognizing the importance of air quality and investing in a healthier indoor environment. The smart tech expert explained that 1 in 25 hospitalized patients will get an airborne hospital associated infection (HAI). He further noted that IAQ is the number one cause of absenteeism in schools and workplaces. While many filtration and HVAC systems don’t go below 0.3 microns, he also explained that viruses and bacteria of diseases such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), C. difficile, tuberculosis, flu, and COVID variants all are smaller than this and spread similarly to “the smell of coffee in a coffee shop.”

With this information laid out, Wadhwani closed his speech by stating that the quality of indoor air affects the return on investment for companies in multiple associated ways, such as absenteeism, sickness, productivity loss, succession, peace of mind, school district ranking, employment opportunity, assisted care center cost of life, cost of HAIs, direct energy savings, and opportunity cost. As he explained, more people will choose your company over your competitors, thanks to better air quality and monitoring.

Check back tomorrow to learn more about the numerous educational topics being presented at this year’s ISSA Show.

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