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Outsourced Janitorial Services and Office Security

by | Mar 3, 2017 | Janitorial Services, Safe Workplace Tips

Outsourced janitorial services can function as more than just a cleaning service; it can be a partner to ensure the safety and security of your office and staff.

It is expected that the organization responsible for cleaning your building would have liability insurance and a posted theft bond. However, business security often extends beyond ensuring that property is not stolen, or doors are not left unlocked. Cleaning staff are often onsite after hours and witness to multiple incidents that involve both facilities and personnel. Opening a dialogue with the cleaning manager is a vital first step toward establishing a safe working environment for everyone, built on trust.

Initial Security Requirements

Before developing an in-depth relationship with a cleaning business that strengthens the safety and security posture of your business, it is important to verify several key components.
  • Liability Insurance – This will provide coverage for any incidental or accidental damage to your companies property, either directly or indirectly attributable to the cleaning team.
  • Theft Insurance – Theft insurance is a particularly vital requirement for outsourced janitorial providers to protect against the increasingly common instance of theft on the part of the janitorial staff, both in-house and outsourced.

The Importance of Theft Insurance

Theft bonds can range from several hundred thousand to millions of dollars in coverage, depending on the requirements of the customer and industry. Obviously, that type of insurance is not readily available from smaller, less able organizations. Theft tied directly to janitorial staff, specifically in-house teams, whether current or former, has hit the headlines quite often as of late. Obviously, a bond would have gone a long way towards mitigating the immediate financial fallout of the reported thefts.

Expanding Business Security Posture

Theft and violent crime are on the rise in Minneapolis, earning it a safety rating of 4 out of 100, and a 1 in 99 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime. For More Information: Security personnel can only survey so much territory, and cameras can only deter crime, not stop it. In metropolitan areas, large scale office buildings often employ cleaning services after hours. Those individuals are typically on the move and provide a significant barrier to intrusion, as well as an additional physical presence to prevent assaults and theft. By providing the team with an emergency number to call, in addition to 911, companies can extend their security presence significantly at no additional cost. However, physical security does not address all of the safety concerns of modern businesses.

Safety as an Extension of Security

Safety goes beyond physical security. Office buildings face potential disaster on a routine basis. As an example, recently a Vanguard franchise addressed a busted pipe main that was spewing water on an upper floor. What could have potentially caused a flooding issue that would have most certainly snowballed into a full-scale disaster–resulting in office closures and the dreaded disaster recovery scenario for destroyed technology–was reported, stopped, and cleaned up professionally and on the spot prior to any lasting damage, saving the business untold millions of dollars in damage. There are several key points business owners and facilities managers should take from that incident:
  • The franchise was proactive in not only reporting the incident, but also by stopping it at its source and cleaning up the mess it left behind; a service well outside of their contracted duties.
  • The business partnership was flexible enough to allow for a significant deviation in that franchises duties to other companies, without an increase in cost to the affected customer.
This means there were minimal issues for the facilities manager to deal with when arriving, emergency response teams were not activated to block off potentially hazardous zones, customer businesses adjacent to the affected main were not impacted, and administrative staff was not overburdened with what could have been an elevated level of inquiries and paperwork that would have distracted them from their typical duties for days, if not weeks.


Obviously, outsourced janitorial services are not professionally trained security or maintenance personnel. However, a vigilant and proactive team that is flexible, responsible, and professional can be a significant asset to a business. Conversely, a poorly vetted agency or in-house janitor can cause a significant amount of financial damage and public embarrassment to any organization, even police departments, due to theft of taxpayer funded items. It is always best practice for a business to protect themselves, which is why you should always insist on proof of liability and theft coverage from the vendor.

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