Office and Workplace Infection Control General Advice
With Viral infections such as Coronavirus (COVID-19) prominent in the news recently, it’s a good time for BIC tips to discuss how you can control viral infections in offices and the workplace.
We’ve previously written about the benefits of a clean office but with the threat of coronavirus and the potential economic impact, it’s important you take steps to minimise the impact on your business and workforce. The best way that you can do this is by ensuring that your business premises is hostile towards viruses and pathogens, whether its the common cold or something more serious.
Cleaning – General Procedures
In order to control viral infections such as COVID-19 you need to clean regularly – particularly in work areas – because dust, soil and microbes on surfaces can transmit infection. Attention should be paid to receptions, meeting rooms, open-plan offices, canteens, kitchens, tea points and washroom facilities. These areas are and commonly used within most offices and workplaces should be thoroughly cleaned at the end of the working day, and spot cleaned after shift change or use.
The following basic principles should be followed when cleaning:
- Written cleaning protocols should be prepared, including methods and frequency of cleaning; protocols should include policies for the supply of all cleaning, sanitising and disinfectant products.
- Standard precautions (including wearing personal protective equipment [PPE], as applicable) should be implemented when cleaning surfaces and facilities.
- Cleaning methods should avoid the use of aerosols.
- All cleaning items should be changed after each use and cleaned and dried before being used again. They should also be safely disposed of immediately following the cleaning of blood or body fluid/substance spills. Single-use cleaning items are preferred, where possible, such as lint-free cleaning cloths.
- Sprays should not be used, because they can become contaminated and are difficult to clean. Sprays are not effective, as they do not touch all parts of the surface to be cleaned
- Detergents should not be mixed with other chemicals.
- All cleaning solutions should be prepared fresh before use.
Cleaning – Specific Procedures
Floorcare, both hard and carpeted should be cleaned daily or, as necessary, with a vacuum cleaner fitted with a particulate-retaining filter. The filter should be changed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
The exhaust air should be directed away from the floor to avoid dust dispersal.
Damp dusting using a lint-free cloth is essential. Brooms disperse dust and bacteria into the air, and should not be used in high usage areas. Dust-retaining mops, which are specially treated or manufactured to attract and retain dust particles, do not increase airborne counts as much as ordinary brooms and remove more dust from surfaces.
Cleaning procedures for routine surface cleaning should be followed, such as;
- All cleaning solutions should be prepared immediately before use.
- Work surfaces should be cleaned (wiped over) with a neutral detergent and warm water solution, rinsed and dried before and after each session, or when visibly soiled. Spills should be cleaned up as soon as practical.
- When a disinfectant is required for surface cleaning, the manufacturer’s recommendations for use, and workplace health and safety instructions should be followed.
- Buckets should be emptied after use, washed with detergent and warm water, rinsed in hot water and stored dry (turned upside down).
- Mops should be laundered or cleaned in detergent and warm water, rinsed in hot water, then stored dry. Mop heads should be detachable or stored with the mop head up.
High Usage Areas
Receptions, meeting rooms, open-plan offices, canteens, kitchens, tea points should be cleaned at least daily, with a ‘top-up’ clean depending on the footfall.
Meeting rooms and training rooms should be spot cleaned after each session and thoroughly cleaned when visibly soiled. Thorough cleaning of these areas should be performed daily.
the following should be cleaned at least daily and more frequently as required:
- toilets, sinks, washbasins, baths and shower cubicles
- all fittings attached to showers, baths and hand basins
- surrounding floor and wall areas.
Maintenance of Cleaning Equipment
Cleaning items (including solutions, water, buckets, cleaning cloths and mop heads) should be changed after each use. They should also be changed immediately following the cleaning of blood or body substance spills.
These items should be washed in detergent and warm water, rinsed and stored dry between uses. Mops with detachable heads should be laundered between uses.
Regular Cleaning using a professional cleaning company is the best way to help protect your workforce from the spread of viruses. If you’re unable to hire the professionals you should follow the above recommendations and carry out regular cleans.
Either option requires a high degree of personal responsibility, as the best way your staff can avoid viral infections is to practice good personal hygiene. Encourage your staff to thoroughly wash their hands by providing and maintaining dispensers.
BIC PLC is a professional contract cleaning company based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and serves customers from many sectors throughout the North of England. Please consider bookmarking this page and check back with us periodically for updates if you found our information of interest.