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Environmental services promote the health of occupants of hospitals, schools, dormitories, stores and other buildings. Supervisors of environmental service administer departments charged with functions such as cleaning, sanitizing, laundry, pest control and housekeeping. Effective administration of environmental service staff requires supervisors to be well-versed in health, sanitation and safety regulations and policies, identify health and environmental risks in their buildings, and communicate with staff in their own departments and others in their organization.
Environmental service supervisors are responsible for their department's staff and working conditions. They hire, train, evaluate and terminate employees and schedule shifts.Training entails instructing staff on cleaning and sanitation standards, as well as proper mopping and cleaning methods. It also includes safe bagging and disposal of waste, used towels and sheets and informing the staff of hospital, school or other institutional policies. Workers in hospitals may need additional training on procedures in specific departments such as pediatrics and surgery. Supervisors oversee the facility's compliance with occupational safety regulations and inform workers of potential hazards in cleaning supplies. This includes providing information on material safety data sheets.
Supplies and Equipment
Supervisors' duties include inventory oversight. Environmental service employees need supplies, such as chemicals, disinfectants, detergents and mops to clean surfaces, mirrors, sinks and other parts of the facility. Supply rooms should include trash bags to store and remove waste and anti-bacterial soap, toilet paper and paper towels for bathrooms, as well as detergent for dishes and laundry. Supervisors inspect and examine cleaning equipment and recommend new equipment purchases to the facility administrators.
Quality Control and Assurance
An environmental service supervisor insures the facility's compliance with health and sanitation regulations and standards.The supervisor inspects the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and tests for radon, mold, and other conditions that may cause "sick building syndrome." Building occupants may suffer headaches, fever, coughing and chills because of poor ventilation or the presence of chemicals.
An environmental service supervisor's work includes preparing the department's budget. The supervisor considers the department's goals, objectives and the equipment and supplies needed. Preparing the budget involves tracking supply purchases from the current or prior year and knowing the wages of department staff and the costs to maintain or acquire new equipment.
- North Carolina Office of State Personnel: Building Environmental Services Supervisor
- Paterson (New Jersey) Board of Education: Job Description -- Supervisor of Evironmental Services
- Pennyslvania Department of Health: Hospital Regulations: Chapter 147 -- Environmental Services
- West Park Hospital District: Job Description -- Environmental Services Department Manager
- Utah State Hospital: Housekeeping Manual
- Middle Georgia State College: Material Safety Data Sheets
Christopher Raines enjoys sharing his knowledge of business, financial matters and the law. He earned his business administration and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a lawyer since August 1996, Raines has handled cases involving business, consumer and other areas of the law.