The Wash Podcast: Considerations for a Successful CleanTech® Installation
Welcome to The Wash, your trusted resource for the latest and greatest in public health and hygiene, where we will tackle topics like hand hygiene, best practices in footwear sanitization, creating an employee hygiene program, and more!
On today’s episode, we invite Customer Success Manager Shawna Linquist, to discuss what you should consider for a successful CleanTech® Handwashing Station install. You can listen to the podcast using the media player or read the podcast transcript below:
Podcast Transcript: Considerations for a Successful CleanTech® Installation:
Abigail: Hello, and welcome to another episode of "The Wash" your trusted resource for the latest and greatest in public health and hygiene. Today, we're going to talk all about install best practices for CleanTech® Automated Handwashing Stations. If you want to learn more about CleanTech, please visit our website meritech.com. There we have lots of videos, product information, and even a webinar that goes into detail about how CleanTech® Automated Handwashing Stations work.
In this episode, we're going to go in-depth specifically on the installation of these CleanTech systems. So today I'm joined by Customer Success Manager, Shawna Linquist. Shawna, thanks for joining us today.
Shawna: Thank you for having me.
Abigail: So first off, please give us a little bit more detail about what exactly you do at Meritech as a Customer Success Manager.
Shawna: As a Customer Success Manager, I'm in charge of troubleshooting over the phone, whatever customers have questions about their systems. I schedule the service technicians for anything that a customer needs for their system. I also do parts orders, help customers with new installations. And onboarding any new customers that we have that sign up and get a new CleanTech system with us.
Abigail: So basically anything to do with service.
Shawna: That is correct.
Abigail: All right. so diving into our install discussion, first off how hard is it to install a CleanTech system?
Shawna: it's actually really easy to install a CleanTech system. The systems come already to go straight from our facility here in our manufacturing department. They are calibrated. Really, all you need to do is hook up the water, plug it in and start using the system right away.
Abigail: All right. So a lot easier than it looks.
Shawna: Exactly. Yes.
Abigail: So what's most important for a successful install?
Shawna: I would say the most important thing for a successful install is the location of where you put your handwashing system. It's really important that it's in a convenient place to where people are going to wash their hands. And also that it's the last thing they do before they go to their workstation. You don't want someone to wash their hands, touch a door, touch a railing, touch anything else, and then go to their workstation. You want it to be something very convenient for them, so they will do it, and so their hands will be clean once they start work. Some places we recommend is definitely like right before you enter the facility. There are places where you can do it inside the facility, but only if it's right outside the door, like you definitely want your workers to come wash their hands, go to work.
Abigail: Got it. So the hygiene zone and the station should be right by the production area.
Shawna: That is correct. People think that the best place is in the bathroom or in a break room, which sounds like it would be the perfect place because you want people to wash their hands after they use the restroom. But depending on where the restroom is or where the break room is, they could wash their hands, touch a bunch of things and then go back to their workstation. So now their hands aren't clean anymore.
Abigail: So Shawna, what your listeners consider when it comes to choosing the best location for CleanTech install at their facility?
Shawna: Definitely want to consider, the people and making sure that your people are washing their hands. Cause that's the most important thing, especially any kind of industry is making sure they wash their hands. Also the place where you put it, because that will make people wash their hands. If it's in the correct place. And then just the product ,Meritech's product in general is, because of the way our system works, you wash your hands in such a way that it makes it easier. Most people don't wash their hands properly. I mean, we all heard the things like sing "Happy Birthday" to yourself for 20 seconds, but nobody really does that. So the fact that with our technology, you're getting a complete handwash within 12 seconds, really helps get that good hand wash and help with like the spread of cross contamination or spreading any pathogens or anything like that.
Abigail: All right. So the People Place, and Products or the three P's as we like to call them here at Meritech. Yeah. Um, if you want to learn more about them, we do have a couple of blog posts and podcasts all about the three P's. So go check those out. Alright, so let's start with the People. Shawna, what do we consider when it comes to people in a successful CleanTech install?
Shawna: Like I said, you want to make sure it's convenient for them to wash their hands. Nobody's going to want to go out of their way to go wash their hands. And then go back to their station. So you want it to really be like the first thing before they start work. The first thing they do before they go to their station and start doing what they need to start doing. We have seen places that do have them all over their facility next to the stations where employees are going to be working, but what happens is you get to work, you put your gloves on, you're like, "Oh, I've got to wash my hands" and you just don't do it. So making it something that's like the first thing you do before you work is definitely where the people part comes in.
Abigail: Yeah, and it's not just production workers, right? It's like auditors, visitors it needs to be convenient for them too ?
Shawna: Exactly, cause an auditor or a visitor, isn't going to go walk to the backside of the facility to go wash their hands and then come all the way back up to start their audit. So you definitely want it to be somewhere convenient for everyone to wash their hands so that anyone that comes to your facility has clean hands.
Abigail: Makes sense, so let's talk about the place. What should be considered with that?
Shawna: Definitely look into what will happen once they wash their hands, what will they be touching? Doors, railings, I've seen some that have it right before, like a step and then they have to walk up a step. Well, everyone touches a railing when they walk up a step. Also, you don't want people to like wash their hands and touch their face or anything that would, again, cause any cross-contamination or, you know, make your hands not clean anymore. Because the whole point of washing your hands is to make sure you're completely clean, so you're not passing off anything else to anyone else. So, definitely making sure that it's again convenient. I feel like I'm saying the same things over, but it's important. It really is important to make sure that the location is the right location for your successful handwash.
Abigail: So it really needs to just be the last thing that people do before they go into their production?
Shawna: Exactly, so I would even say it's something they do after they gown up and put on their mask or, you know, obviously not their gloves, but basically any gowns or anything they have to put on I know I've been to places where they have to put a hat on or something. Have them do that stuff first, then wash their hands, then glove up.
Abigail: So just follow all the correct hygienes zone steps.
Shawna: Pretty much, yeah, our blog on the hygiene zone is definitely what you should follow when it comes to location. For sure, yeah.
Abigail: Alright, and finally, the product. Why is that so important for a successful install?
Shawna: The product is really like what you as a company or manufacturing or producing. Or whatever your facility is doing to make sure that you have clean hands and you're making sure that everyone's following proper procedures for perfect hygiene. So if you're like in a dry environment, you probably don't want to have a lot of water inside the plant, because I mean, you are washing your hands, you're using water, so you want to make sure that it's something that's right before you enter in the plant.
Or if it's something where you're switching stations, like maybe you're an employee who works at one station, which is like, maybe you're dealing with raw food. We have a lot of food processing companies that use our hygiene CleanTech Handwashing Systems. So, if you're going to switch stations, you want to make sure that person's not leaving one station that deals with raw food to go to another station that has something completely different, because you don't want to have any of that cross contamination.
So you might consider making like another hygiene zone or hygiene station, CleanTech station. Place where they can go from one station to the next and make sure they get another handwash on there. So, it definitely depends on how your facility is set up on where you'd want to put these where you want to locate the Meritech CleanTech Handwashing Stations. So just really it comes down to what you're doing and your facility.
Yes, we talked a lot about food products and facilities, but you know, even in an office setting here at Meritech, we have our hand washing stations, obviously. You want to make sure that the people in the office it's convenient to go wash their hands. Because if it's not convenient for us to go wash your hands, why are we going to go wash our hands? What's this what's to stop us just to go to our office, not wash our hands? So, it's definitely like making sure that you have those locations. In places that people want to use our systems, plus they're really fun to use. So, I know that I like using it, but that's me because I work here.
Abigail: Yeah, me too. I love it. It's so like, it makes your hands so nice and like moisturized too with our solution. I love it.
Shawna: I know, right! And my hands don't feel as dry, like trying to wash your hands every hour with regular soap, it definitely drives out your hands. So our systems are definitely nice. So, but again, like I said, if it wasn't convenient for us in the office, we probably wouldn't do it either. And that's why location so important because the better the location, the more people are going to wash their hands and the more people that wash their hands, the better off everybody is.
Abigail: Yeah, so I have to ask what is, one of the worst installs that you've seen based on like horrible location.
Shawna: Oh man. Oh, this is a hard question. I would say one of the locations, um, one place that I saw was that they had, they had tons of our systems in their facility, which is great. But they were in places that weren't convenient for people to wash their hands. It was like, okay, at the entrance, they had a one, but it was like one, and they had a lot of employees that went back and forth. And then they had them all over thinking, okay. If they don't go through this one, they'll wash them at their stations. But a lot of people would put on their gowns and it would just be like, I think it was just more of like, they were there, but they didn't really think of doing it. So even though they had a lot of stations, they were like in the back room, like you had to go all the way to the back of the facility to go wash your hands, or it was at the front. So...
Abigail: It was just odd, like inconvenient locations that didn't really flow with the rest of their hygiene zone stuff.
Shawna: Yeah, and it was some dark locations too. So you couldn't, it was hard to even see where they were sometimes. Cause they were like in corners that were like, kind of out of the way. So yeah. I mean it's no, one's going to go walk in that corner to go wash their hands. Like they did have them in the front too, but again, like, you know, you're changing where we're talking about before, as far as changing stations. No, one's going to go walk all the way up to the front, to go wash their hands, to go change a station. So if they had them in more convenient locations, like in between stations so that people could go wash their hands, have the glove station right there and get new gloves and everything. Yeah. That's again, like what we talk about with the hygiene zone and all of our blogs that we talk about.
Abigail: And it also sounds like, I mean, even though they have one right at the entrance, it wasn't enough to go with their number of employees. So it's really important that you have enough installed to manage the vast number of employees that you have going through that hygiene zone at anytime.
Shawna: Especially when you're doing, like, even when you're doing second shifts. Because you have people that come in at different times. So you want to make sure that everybody has enough time to wash their hands because, I don't know about you, but sometimes I'm running a little bit late, so, you know, you're like, "oh, I don't want to wait because I need to get in to clock in" or whatever, so it's definitely good to have multiple locations or to have enough machines so that everyone could wash their hands. I mean, it's 12 seconds, which isn't very long, but depending on how many employees you have, it can be long time, if you only have one CleanTech system.
Abigail: Exactly. Okay. So we covered the worst install. Based on location, what is the best installed that you've seen?
Shawna: The best install I saw was a place that had the break room where, when you were in the break room, you had to put a gown on hair net, you know, "the works" not the gloves, but everything else. As soon as you walked out the door, the first thing that was there to go into the plant. So remember I said, it's not always convenient to have them inside the plant. This one's specifically the way they had it set up was perfect because as soon as you walk out the door, like as an employee, the handwashing system is right there, so you had to wash your hands before you can move on to even to your station. So it was right outside their locker room, I guess, is what you would call it, where they put on their gowns and their hats and everything. So you had to put your gown on, your earplugs in this specific place, then you had your hand washing station was right outside the door. So you went out the door or wash your hands, put gloves on and went to your station. So it was like, there was no touching anything after that, after you wash your hands except for putting gloves on.
Abigail: Yeah, that's awesome. So, I mean, by not having it necessarily right inside that hygiene zone, they were able to go over and avoid that cross-contamination touchpoint of the door handles and just have it like right there.
Shawna: So they touched the door, washed their hands, went to their station
Abigail: So we talked all about location. What else is needed for a successful CleanTech install?
Shawna: The thing that you need for our systems to work is really plumbing. So you need cold and hot water and a drain, because it is water. So, how our systems work is, like I said before in the beginning, they're pretty easily to install. You just hook them up with the hot and cold water and plug them in and then you just have to have a drain. I like to say the drain is kind of like what you have look in your house for your washing machine you just hook a hose to it, put a clamp on there and put it to wherever your drain is on there. So it's very easy, the water hot and cold, because we definitely want to make sure that you have a good temperature when you wash your hands. Cause that's another thing that makes people wash their hands more is comfort. Our machines will work with lower temperatures, but would you probably recommend like anything to like a hundred to 105 degrees for a comfort handwash so a lot of the temperature has a lot to do with just the comfort to make sure that people are washing their hands.
Shawna: Nobody wants to wash their hands, a cold water, but you can. So having the hot and cold hooked up, it's very easy. In the manuals it tells you like what hoses you need to use, that we recommend, we do ship everything that you would need for your system inside the packaging, when you get your Meritech system.
Abigail: What about for international clients? Do you kind of go over and provide different hoses and things that they may need as well?
Shawna: Yeah, so every time that it's something that is different than what we would use normally we definitely do change everything even like with the plugs. So when you're talking about international, they don't use the same plug as we do here in the United States. So we do have separate plugs for that. So everything that we give you in our kit will work for your system to hook it up to the water. It's very important to do the hot and cold water in there because another thing that makes our systems work is, and you'll probably hear this a lot in a lot of our blogs I'm sure is making sure you have good water, pressure and flow. Water pressure and flow are like cousins is what I believe our Chief Technology Officer uses that term all the time. So if you've seen any other blogs or podcasts, you've heard him say that, which is true. I mean, if you don't have good water flow, the system's not going to work as well.
Abigail: So basically the three things are water pressure and flow temperature and utility access, right?
Shawna: Correct. Yes.
Abigail: So what are some things that kind of help ensure that the water pressure and flow is there during the install?
Shawna: I would say, making sure you use the correct hoses that go to for your water. Again, it really depends on the location too. I mean, I know I keep talking about location, but depending on where your water heater is like, have you ever, if you take a shower and it's like the first thing in the morning and you're upstairs, your water heater is downstairs, sometimes it can be cold. So you have to wait a little bit for it to kind of warm up. It's kind of the same thing with like our system. So, if you wash your hands, you're the first person to wash your hands. And it's like, first thing in the morning, it's possible that it might be cold, but it's not because the system's not running properly. It's just that it takes a while for the hot water to get there. So that's what I get in with like location. It can also do the same thing with, I believe even like water pressure, water flow too, like depending on where your pipes are and everything. So, it's just making sure that you kind of follow the recommendations that we put for our systems and what works for it. Those can all affect like kind of those different types of things. Again, like I said, location, I know I keep saying location. You guys are probably tired of me hearing location. I feel like I'm a real estate agent location, location, location, right. It is important. So, but yeah, it's, and I'm not a plumber, so I can't give you any, I really honestly can't give you any plumbing advice but just by using what we recommend in our manuals for the systems and kind of following those directions really will help your system run the way it should.
Abigail: So using the correct host size making sure it's close to water using hot and cold water everything...
Shawna: Yeah, and sometimes it's not possible to do that and also too, in some facilities, you might be running hot water for your processes, whatever you're doing at your facility. So you could have something that's constantly using hot water. So I do have a lot of customers who will get what they call like a portable hot water heater. They could put between the system and the water hoses to have that more comfortable handwash.
Abigail: So not only is important to have these two different hoses for hot and cold water, for temperature. But what happens if you do not connect a hot water hose or cold water hose?
Shawna: It can affect your water flow. and possibly even like the pressure again, like I said, they kind of go hand in hand. It can make the system just not work or run the way it should. So you should always have two sources of water plugged into the back for sure. As far as hot or cold , it doesn't need to be like super hot, like we say 100 to 105 degrees for temperature. Well, actually I think it's even, probably in our manual, I think it says 90 to 105. And that's just for comfort. I mean, honestly, the human skin can't really - I mean I don't know if you've ever put your hands in like really hot water, it burns. So then what's gonna happen, you're not going to keep your hands in for the whole time.
Shawna: And it's the same thing with cold water, like you're probably not going to keep your hands in cold water for a long, period of time to get the full hand wash. So it's definitely important to have both hot and cold, but if you can't have, you know, 105 degrees, as long as it's comfortable for someone to wash their hands, that's really all that you really need is to have. It's more for our comfort level, as far as temperature goes.
Abigail: Got it. And if it goes above a certain temperature, that's not safe for human hands, the machine actually shuts off, right?
Shawna: That is correct, it does have a safety feature inside there that will turn it off if it gets too hot, because we don't want to burn anyone.
Abigail: That's good! So, we covered water pressure, water flow, we covered temperature and why all of those things are important. You also mentioned utility access, like drains and electricity. Why is that so important for a successful install?
Shawna: Well, you definitely want to have electricity to plug it in, because that's what makes the system run, because it is an electronic automatic hand washing system. Having a drain is important too. Again, it depends on your facility. Like you don't., you don't want to have a drain, that's just all over the floor. So if there's no drainage. Then the system is not gonna work cause there's going to be water stuck inside the system, that never drains. So you wanna make sure you have a good drain.
Abigail: Okay. So we talked about location and plumbing and why those are both super important. Are there any final CleanTech install, considerations and recommendations that our listeners need to know?
Shawna: I would say reading all documentation, shipped with the system. And also I'm always here. So you can always give me a call if you do have any other questions, you can reach out my direct line here at Meritech. My number is (303) 790-4670, x126.
Abigail: Alright, so lean on Shawna for any questions that you have when installing your CleanTech systems, she is here to help! Shawna, thank you so much for joining me today and breaking down a successful CleanTech install with us!
Shawna: Thanks for having me!
Abigail: All right. So again, if you would like more information about CleanTech Automated Handwashing Stations, please visit our website meritech.com. There we have tons of information about automated vs manual handwashing and a great webinars where our CTO that we mentioned and head engineer, Paul Barnhill goes in depth on everything you need to know about CleanTech. We'll link to all these different resources that we mentioned throughout this podcast, and you'll find it on meritech.com. Thank you again for joining us for another episode of "The Wash" your source for the latest and greatest in public health and hygiene!
This podcast is brought to you by Meritech, the leader in automated employee hygiene. Meritech offers a complete line of fully-automated hygiene equipment that provides the only clinically-validated, technology-based approach to human hygiene in the world. Meritech’s line of CleanTech® Automated Handwashing Stations perform a fully-automated 12-second hand wash, sanitize and rinse cycle, removing over 99.9% of dangerous pathogens while using 75% less water than manual handwashing. Meritech delivers employee hygiene, contamination control, and infection prevention programs within a wide variety of markets, including food production, food service, cleanroom, healthcare, medical, theme parks, and cruise lines. For more information call 303-790-4670.