The Fort Worth Convention Center and the Will Rogers Memorial Center have received the STAR Facility accreditation status from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.
“GBAC accreditation is the gold standard of prepared facilities,” said Mike Crum, director of public events for the City of Fort Worth. “Meeting planners will find that we have gone the extra mile to assure their event attendees have as safe an experience as possible while in our buildings.”
GBAC accreditation means that a facility has:
Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus.
The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
Highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.
“As the operations team has gone through the rigorous GBAC application process, we’ve been able to create and enhance our cleaning protocols,” said Cynthia Serrano, acting general manager of the Fort Worth Convention Center. “We’ve also developed new methodologies for our team to expand how we evaluate what is clean and safe.”
For example, technicians are deploying the use of an adenosine triphosphate meter, used widely by janitorial experts, to obtain readings on the cleanliness of the building. By doing this in-house, they are able to target high-traffic areas and increase frequency of disinfecting where and when needed.
Touch points are the most significant places for bacteria transfer and virus spread. Will Rogers and the convention center have reduced as many touch points as possible in restrooms by installing auto-flush toilets and urinals, automatic sink faucets and auto-dispensing equipment for soap, sanitizer and paper towels.
Bipolar ionization systems were also installed. This process involves releasing ionized particles (molecules with a positive/negative charge) that will attach to and deactivate harmful substances like bacteria, mold, allergens and viruses at the molecular level. The result is cleaner and healthier air.
“We always had a high standard, but now we are sanitizing for safety as well as cleaning for aesthetics,” said Kevin Kemp, general manager of Will Rogers Memorial Center.
As part of the requirement for accreditation, 18 Public Events Department employees also received a GBAC Trained-Technician certification. Individuals earning the certification are trained in planning, knowledge and processes needed to respond to a biohazard crisis in the workplace. They also mastered preventive, response and contamination control measures for infectious disease outbreak situations such as COVID-19.
“Team members earning the GBAC designation bring increased value to our clients because they have shown a commitment to safety, excellence and continuous learning,” Kemp said.