As a school facility manager, it’s important to perform routine facility and safety audits so the students, faculty, and staff can enjoy a comfortable environment while you ensure that everything is up to code. Learning how you can improve your facility or update your systems is crucial.

Here are a few helpful tips to show you the proper facility audit procedures.

Facility Audit

There are many factors at play when it comes to conducting a facility audit. The audit will require time and resources but only to ensure that everything is running as efficiently as possible. Whether you have an outsider come in to inspect or the school district has a professional at their disposal, it’s important to have an updated inventory checklist on hand so the process can be as efficient as possible. The facility audit is performed to gauge the status of your facility and determine if any updates or repairs would be necessary.

Necessary Inspections

When you’re conducting a facility audit, you should have your inventory checklist with the equipment and the date that said equipment was manufactured and installed. This will help the auditor determine the life cycle of the equipment and systems in your facility. By providing the auditor with the necessary resources, the actual audit should be fairly easy to compete.

Facility Audit

The auditor will carefully inspect your HVAC system to determine its quality and effectiveness and if it requires any repairs to pass inspection. If you’ve kept up with routine maintenance, this shouldn’t be a problem. Your water system will also be inspected to ensure the water quality and the functionality of the pumps and pipes.

The grounds of your facility will also be carefully inspected. The auditor will look for any damage to the exterior of the building as well as the quality of the parking lots. The auditor will also assess the landscaping and athletic fields to ensure student safety.

Areas to Focus On

Every facility or school has its weak spots, or areas that require a lot of focus and perhaps even maintenance. Bathrooms can be one of these areas, as several factors can contribute to a less-than-adequate audit. Air quality is an important aspect in the bathroom audit, so as a facility manager, you should take steps to ensure that everything is acceptable and up to par.

Bathrooms can be a breeding ground for mold and fungus, which have a negative effect on the air quality. Due to the overwhelming moisture and humidity, several components of your bathroom can be susceptible to mold growth. Your bathroom stalls and partitions may have mold sprouting inside them, so think about replacing these stalls with a more durable material like HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which is resistant to moisture, scratches, and even graffiti.

If you’ve kept up with your facility’s systems in terms of maintenance and repairs, you should expect good results from an audit. However, a variety of measures can help you to achieve a great audit. You may even want to consider some renovations. Learn more by downloading our eBook The Complete Guide to Renovating Your School’s Locker Room.


Although teachers, administrators, and staff do their best to make American schools a safe place for children to learn and play, there are some dangers that simply can’t be avoided. What’s even more precarious is that many of these dangers seem fairly innocent, playing a mundane role in the daily lives of school children.

In an article published by HealthGrove, experts used data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to evaluate the most dangerous items involved in school-related injuries reported between 1997 and 2014. The resulting list of 20 items included some unsurprising offenders, such as scissors (No. 19) and paint (No. 17). However, at No. 8 on the list, an average of 7,558 injuries each year involved something much more commonplace. The culprit: ordinary lockers.

Lockers: A Hidden Danger to Children?

Although many people might have fond memories of their high school locker, hanging pictures of their favorite bands or celebrity crushes, a surprising number of injuries each year involve these convenient hallway hideaways. In addition to impact injuries, metal lockers pose another serious threat: tetanus. Even in areas not subject to excessive moisture, rust can form on metal lockers and cause additional damage as the rust spreads.

Slowly, the rust will deteriorate the locker, leaving behind sharp edges that can easily cut or injure a student. This is one reason why many schools are transitioning away from traditional metal lockers and looking toward newer and less harmful materials. One possible answer lies in HDPE solid plastics.

A New Kind of Locker for Your Child’s School

Unlike metal lockers, lockers made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are resistant to rust and corrosion. These non-porous lockers are also resistant to odors, dents, mildew, and even graffiti, making them not only safe but cost-effective for school officials. Lower maintenance costs mean those budget dollars could go toward programming or purchasing school supplies.

In addition to possibly reducing the number of injuries and helping schools save on their yearly budget, HDPE lockers are quieter than metal lockers, reducing noise in the hallways between or during classes. And some lockers made from this durable material are GREENGUARD Gold Certified, making them safe for the environment.

What Is GREENGUARD Certification?

GREENGUARD Certification means that the certified product has met some of the highest standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air indoors. According to the GREENGUARD website, the “Gold standard includes health based criteria for additional chemicals and also requires lower total VOC emissions levels to ensure that products are acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.”

All of the brands produced by Scranton Products, including their HDPE lockers, are GREENGUARD Gold Certified. This certification increases the safety level of these lockers as a terrific replacement for traditional metal lockers found in many schools.

Contact Scranton Products for more information about their building solutions.


A 2012 study from the University of Michigan School of Nursing found that nurses’ work uniforms had an average bacteria colony growth of 5,795 per square inch after just one night shift. Dayshift nurses’ uniforms had an average bacteria colony growth of 1,246 per square inch, which, although significantly lower, may still be a cause for concern.

With the frequency of infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the rise and the alarming results of the university’s study, experts are now wondering if hospital scrubs pose a serious threat to the general public. Healthcare officials meanwhile have the task of deciding whether stricter policies and regulations should be implemented.

Germs and Hospital Scrubs: A Biological Fashion Statement

According to biologist Jonathan Eisen of the University of California-Davis, medical care facilities tend to be hot spots for bacteria and other potentially harmful organisms. Once inside a building like a hospital, scrubs can become contaminated quickly and begin collecting bacteria. The fear is that those contaminated scrubs, once worn outside the hospital, can potentially transmit bacteria to other objects and people.

However, that’s not to say medical care facilities are blind to the potential threat. In fact, many even have specific policies concerning wearing scrubs outside the hospital, especially when it comes to scrubs worn in the operating room or other specific areas of the building. The downside is that these rules are usually poorly enforced or ignored altogether by healthcare workers.

This leaves healthcare officials to wonder how they can effectively enforce a new policy for changing out of scrubs before workers leave the building. The answer, it seems, may actually lie in the facilities themselves.

In Search of a Low-Cost and Sanitary Solution

One way that healthcare officials can help to prevent workers from wearing scrubs outside the building is to provide comfortable and convenient spaces where workers can change before and after their shifts. These changing rooms can easily be designed as a series of stalls, much like shower stalls, making them both efficient and private. They can also be cleaned easily by the building’s janitorial staff.

By simply giving workers an area where they can easily change in and out of their scrubs, healthcare officials may have an easier time enforcing safety policies and preventing the possible spread of potentially harmful organisms.

More on Dressing Compartments

Dressing compartments can be made in a variety of colors and textures in order to provide a design that compliments the facility’s existing décor. These compartments, made from high-quality performance plastics, also resist dents, scratches, and corrosion, with little need for maintenance or repairs, which makes them an ideal investment for expenditure conscious officials.

To learn more about these durable dressing compartments, click here. Scranton Products uses high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic in the making of their compartments, which means they’re not only tough, but they also have a low environmental impact. And their GREENGUARD Gold Certification means they’re safe enough for use in healthcare facilities.


Regulatory codes and health regulations are always changing, which is something that you must pay careful attention to as a facility manager in charge of bathrooms or bathroom updates. Many facility managers are experiencing legal and regulatory issues for failing to do so.

To avoid these issues, find out more about the regulations to which your facility must adhere.

What Are ADA and OSHA?

The most notable requirements that restrooms fail to adhere to fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

The ADA came to fruition over 25 years ago, and the law states that it “prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”

However, not all facility bathrooms adhere to the regulations that the ADA has set. There are many issues with restroom design and construction.

OSHA’s sanitation standard reviews facilities and requires them to maintain sanitary conditions.

Understanding Accommodation Compliance spoke with Joan Stein of Stein Consulting, who explained that in order for a facility to be ADA compliant, special attention must be paid to design, construction, and maintenance.

For example, there must be adequate room in a bathroom stall to move around in, and the height of dispensers and other equipment must be accessible. Often, the stalls aren’t wide enough, and the toilets aren’t set at the proper height.

Another common issue is getting to the bathroom. Restaurants and other establishments want the bathrooms to be kept out of sight, which typically means putting them in a spot that can be difficult to reach. During construction, the design should incorporate a bathroom that’s easily accessible by those in wheelchairs who don’t have to maneuver through difficult angles.

In the bathroom, sink height is typically appropriate, but the pipes beneath the sink can end up bumping the person’s wheelchair so they can’t reach it comfortably. Often, these pipes are also uninsulated. Insulating pipes can remedy this issue.

In addition to ensuring that the design of a bathroom adheres to regulations, it’s important that facility managers maintain the accessibility in the bathrooms. This means paying attention to the placement of objects around the bathroom, such as waste baskets, and keeping them out of the way of those in wheelchairs. It also means keeping paper towels, soaps, and other necessities within their reach.

Understanding Water Compliance

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense initiative also sets regulations on water usage in restrooms that facility managers must be aware of. There are new plumbing codes and standards to adhere to, and restroom designs can help the facility’s bottom line.

As a facility manager, it’s important to be aware of these standards and make sure that you follow them accordingly. You want to make sure that the people who utilize the facility are properly accommodated.

If you’re looking for reliable, sustainable bathroom partitions or vanities for your facility, click here to find out where to buy Scranton Products.

When you’re purchasing products for your facility, you want to make sure they’re long-lasting and high-quality. You also want to make sure they’re safe for use and they perform the way they’re supposed to. The products in your facility are investments and it’s crucial that they are the deliverables you’re in need of. ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials) will help you determine whether your products adhere to these standards.

What are ASTM Standards?

ASTM is recognized globally as a leader in development and delivery of voluntary consensus standards. Over 12,000 ASTM standards are used all over the world to improve product quality, enhance health and safety, strengthen market access and trade, and to let customers know they can count on products. ASTM serves many industries, such as metals, construction, petroleum, consumer products and more. Standards have been developed in accordance with the guiding principles of the World Trade Organization. These standards are used by individuals, companies and institutions globally. Government regulators cite standards in laws, regulations and codes.

How is an ASTM standard developed?

A member of an ASTM technical committee will identify a need to develop a standard. Group members will prepare a draft standard and it is then reviewed by its parent subcommittee.

Why is this important?

When individuals, companies, or institutions have products that adhere to ASTM standards, their products are proven to be reliable. Many tests are performed to find out vital information about the products and what they have to offer consumers. Consumers can rest assured knowing that the products they are purchasing will be effective and perform the way they expect it to. They also know that the standards make these products safe for use so that they’re not in danger. These standards also allow suppliers to know that their products are top notch and they’re offering the best quality to their customers.

Do Scranton Products adhere to ASTM standards?

Scranton Products are sustainable, durable and microbial resistance. HDPE plastic exhibited no microbial growth during a 21-day testing period which was conducted in accordance with ASTM D3293. While HDPE was microbial free, Phenolic had mold and mildew growth. The durability of Scranton Products also adheres to ASTM standards. The abrasion resistance of various bathroom partition materials was measured in accordance with ASTM G195, which resulted in HDPE having the best abrasion resistance with the lowest surface wear. Based on graffiti resistance, Scranton Products adheres to ASTM standards. Testing was conducted in accordance with ASTM D6578 which provides a standard set of conditions that can be used to evaluate the graffiti resistance of a surface. Seven marking agents and six cleaning products were used in the evaluation to show that HDPE is graffiti resistant utilizing no specialized maintenance procedure or additional coating. ASTM standards go a long way in proving how valuable a product is.

Click here to find out where you can buy Scranton Products.

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