Coronavirus and hygiene – operational information for businesses from AM Services Group
With the UK’s risk designated as moderate, and as concern for the spread of Coronavirus grows, there is a strong public focus on good hygiene; on companies’ preparedness and responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of staff; and on acting swiftly should you be in a high risk situation.
Employers, especially in sites that welcome large numbers of visitors to their premises, are being urged to keep the situation under review and to carry out appropriate risk assessments to gauge whether the working environment presents a risk of infection.
To support this, the ISSA (Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association) has issued guidance to cleaning professionals to advise them on handling the situation. This involves seven main steps to use when preparing to clean, sanitise and disinfect any space:
- Incident site risk assessment: assess what equipment is needed and what cleaning and disinfection solutions to use
- Pre-bio test: Perform this test to determine the initial state of cleanliness
- Pre-disinfect: Where there may be a lot of contamination, a pre-disinfection is recommended because this "knocks down the viral or bacterial contamination prior to entering the site"
- Load reduction: Items may need to be removed altogether because of bio contamination
- Forensic cleaning: Typically done with a dry towel and repeated with a detergent cleaning solution.
- Post site assessment / Post-bio test: Cleaners should determine ahead of time how they will carry out the cleaning, sanitisation and disinfection process.
- Final disinfection: Sprayers could be used to carry out this final stage
Based on current information, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) can survive on a contaminated surface, but probably not for long. Thorough surface cleaning, particularly using products with proven efficacy against enveloped viruses like Coronavirus,
will ensure that any potentially contaminated surface is left in a clean and hygienic condition.
Paul Thrupp, chair of the British Cleaning Council, comments: “There’s a lot of alarm and concern among the British public at the moment about the Coronavirus, and confirmation of the first cases in the UK could naturally intensify that. The best way of controlling it is the same as how you would deal with the flu, and patients should follow the catch it, bin it and kill it advice – use tissues if you sneeze, dispose of them properly and make sure you wash your hands regularly.”
Health and safety managers should promote good hand cleanliness, checking that washrooms are well stocked and that any hand sanitiser used in their facility has proven efficacy against enveloped viruses to a recognised standard to make sure that staff and visitors are well protected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives guidance on this https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/
Expert facilities services provider, AM Services Group would be delighted to speak to you further about how cleaning and washroom services can support the wellbeing of your employees. Contact call 01524 850590.
If you would like more information, the following links may be of interest: