British employees will averagely work for 34 hours and 26 minutes a week adding up to a total of 1,795 hours a year, 84,365 over a lifetime. As a result, many businesses need to use a cleaning service but enter Coronavirus, a potentially life-threatening disease typically spread through hand contact and the professional cleaning industry has never been so important. Staying current, locating the high touch arears in your building and reviewing cleaning procedures will be critical to ensuring your employees and clients remain safe and healthy.
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What is the Coronavirus?
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. Early on, many of the patients suffering from the outbreak in Wuhan reported some link to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting an animal to person spread. However, a growing number of patients infected have not had exposure to animal markets indicating that the virus as mutated to a person-to-person spread. Currently, it is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people.
Commercial Cleaning Products.
While Coronavirus is contagious, several cleaning products available can help mitigate it. Currently, there are no tests measuring the success of cleaning products against 2019-nCoV, but professional cleaning companies who will have previously had experiences with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV (both of which are previously identified Coronavirus’s) will understand what products will work.
Coronavirus is predominately spread through hand contact and an initial cleaning audit of your business premises will identify the high touch areas such as doorknobs, lights switches and all surfaces which will require disinfecting. Most of these commercial disinfectant products will be used on hard, non-porous surfaces.
What is COSHH?
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) is a UK Statutory Instrument which states general requirements imposed on employers to protect employees and other persons from the hazards of substances used at work by risk assessment, control of exposure, health surveillance and incident planning.
Hydrogen Peroxide with a dilution ratio of 7% or more will kill the Coronavirus but most household cleaners are 3% so you will need commercial-grade materials. However, understanding how to use and store commercial cleaning products safely can be complex. Professional Cleaning Companies will be trained, not just in cleaning techniques but also in over arching Health and Safety and the significance of environmental impact.
During this Pandemic, facility managers all over the country are turning to cleaning contractors and asking them “what can we do to keep our building users healthy?”
A High-Touch Audit will locate and document all the high touch areas that need to be clean. Some of these arears will be obvious, such as door knobs, but there will be many that are easy to miss such as vending machines, coffeepot handles, railings on back stairways and electronics used by multiple building users.
Site surveys and square footage.
Even without the threat posed by COVID-19 industrial cleaning is often shelved by businesses because of the perceived risk of downtime and disruption.
Industrial cleaning is often put off by businesses because of the perceived downtime and disruption that they think it causes. But large-scale cleaning doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare.
Cleaning professionals will perform a site survey, look at all the tasks required and weigh these up against the frequencies and square footage. A thorough survey will not only enable time planning and cost-effective use of cleaning materials but will provide you with results that you can measure and control.
Turning to reliable, credible and knowledgeable sources of information on cleaning as a preventative measure to fight coronavirus is key. Commercial cleaning professionals will be current with information on quarantines, best practise cleaning procedures and significant Government and Health Organisation announcements.
Review cleaning procedures.
In alignment with public health recommendations you will need to take measures in your workplace to help prevent community spread of COVID-19. This will likely include the provision of enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures and increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, with a focus on high-touch surfaces.
Writing and implementing an enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocol will serve, not only to make your business environment safer, but to instil confidence in employees and clients that your company recognises and can deal effectively with the risks. If you need help with this Kingdom Services Group can advise you on how to review your systems, protocols and practises against the latest thinking and guidelines.
Align messaging and signage
Studies have found that when people see messages regularly, they conduct themselves accordingly. Government Guidance for Employers and Businesses on Coronavirus COVID-19 recommends that employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently, to catch coughs and sneezes in tissues and to frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly. Seek advice from your Cleaning Contractor on examples of good practice regarding Health and Safety signage.
If you would like more information and guidance on commercial cleaning, risk mitigation, security solutions or local authority support please get in touch at our National Support Centre Tel: 0845 051 7700 or one of our Manned Regional Support Offices in Belfast, Bristol, Glasgow, London (central), Luton and Swindon.