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What Does a Sanitation Manager Do?

Sanitation managers often first gain experience as custodians.
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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 July 2014
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To help keep public locations like restaurants, offices, and hospitals clean and safe to inhabit on an ongoing basis, many businesses employ the services of a sanitation crew. This crew can consist of one or more members, depending on the size of the building and the amount of ongoing work that needs to be done. The crew is generally led by a sanitation manager.

Often the sanitation manager takes part in duties involving the cleaning and sanitation of certain establishments, namely food service centers like restaurants and hotels. It may be his job to scrub walls and floors, do routine maintenance work, shovel snow from sidewalks and walkways to ensure safety for patrons and workers, and keep restrooms clean and well-stocked. In large buildings, the manager may simply oversee and check the work of various sanitation and maintenance workers.

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In restaurant settings, the sanitation manager may also have the job of inspecting food items and equipment to ensure that ingredients are up to date and safe for consumption. He may keep detailed logs with the dates food items were purchased and when they will be past their expiration dates. This ensures that food that may be spoiled or rotten is thrown out before it is used in cooking. He may also have the responsibility of routinely inspecting the full kitchen and dining area to ensure that everything is up to government safety regulations. This prevents the restaurant from getting a bad report should a health inspector make a surprise visit.

The sanitation manager may gain employment working as a custodian or lower level sanitation worker and eventually be promoted to manager. Some other sanitation managers have had managerial training, or have special handyman skills acquired in other jobs. Other names a sanitation manager may go by are sanitation supervisor and maintenance supervisor.

Since there are so many aspects to the job including construction, custodial, and general labor, a sanitation manager will need to have a wide skill set. These skills should not only comply with the physical labor requirements of the job, but also include some people skills since he will most likely be directing and checking the work of others. A good sanitation manager is both firm enough to ensure that his workers complete every job by set standards and easy-going enough for crew members to approach him with any problems that may arise.

In some cases, the sanitation manager may also work as an independent contractor or self employed person. Handyman service companies are available in some larger cities, and they involve a sanitation and/or maintenance worker going from business to business offering his services to various companies. Many self-employed sanitation workers started out as sanitation managers or supervisors before making the leap into owning a business.

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