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 (photo: Tima Miroshnichenko)
22.02.2021, 19:17

How to Keep Common Areas Clean Post COVID

Cleaning & Waste Management, Americas, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Workplace

The propensity of SARS-CoV-2 to lurk on doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons and keyboards is making decontamination of workplace surfaces an essential part of facility management.

  

Covid-19 is quickly passed on to people when they touch common workplace surfaces and subsequently touch their own noses, mouths or eyes.

 

Although there is a consensus about the need to clean zoned areas in any building thoroughly, workplace managers frequently seek additional guidance on cleaning and disinfection to ensure a healthy environment.

 

Cleaning Guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Although it may seem like controlling the spread of coronavirus is a considerable challenge, cleaning and disinfection routines can significantly eliminate the risk of getting the virus from surfaces in the office. Both the employers and the workers must maintain a clean work environment.

 

Here’s what you’ll need to understand before you begin your business cleanup:

  • Use disposable gowns, gloves, and a mask for cleaning

  • Clean the surfaces first before you begin to disinfect

  • Apart from the EPA-approved disinfectants, you can also use bleach and water

  • Don’t mix cleaning products

  • Clean and disinfect shared equipment and electronics

 

As a supportive measure, you can counter check the work with an electrostatic cleaning. Here, you’ll use a gun-like device that sprays a mist that covers surfaces in disinfectant.


How to Clean and Disinfect

Now let’s clean!


1. Develop Your Plan

First, you must understand what needs cleaning. As a standard procedure, maintain routine cleaning for unoccupied areas for up to 7 or more days. Then, determine how you’ll disinfect these areas.

 

Besides considering the type of surface, check how often the workers touch these surfaces. That way, you’ll be able to prioritize the frequently touched areas. Next, consider the equipment and resources needed. Always keep in mind the accessibility of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning products.


2. Implement

Use soap and water to clean dirty surfaces before disinfection. Remember, only use the appropriate disinfectant or cleaning product. Plus, ensure that you read the tags to check whether or not it meets the required standards. The label features application instructions and safety information.

 

If you have porous surfaces such as rugs, carpets, and drapes, use soap and water or cleaners suitable for cleaning these surfaces.

 

When it comes to electronics like keyboards, touch screens, and tablets, put a wipeable cover on them to make it easy for you to clean and disinfect. Ensure that you stick to the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning the item.


3. Maintain & Revise

Cleaning is a continuous process. So, don’t think that doing it for a few weeks is enough to keep your workplace safe. You need to maintain routine cleaning or even revise your plan according to the applicable PPE and disinfectant guidelines available.

 

At least disinfect commonly touched areas daily. This approach will help you reduce the potential for exposure.


Alternative Consideration for Your Employees

It’s a good idea to educate the workers performing cleaning and trash collection to know the traits of COVID-19. Plus, create policies for workers’ protection and train all the cleaning staff before the task.

 

Remember, the training should include what type of PPE is necessary, when to use the PPE, how to use it, and how to dispose of it properly. Likewise, provide training on the hazardous effects of handling cleaning chemicals.


Business Waste Management

Besides boosting cleanliness, business waste management can help you regulate the waste. By reusing and recycling the trash in your business, you can minimize the amount of waste thrown away in the landfill. Aside from benefiting the environment, such a strategy can also save you money. These steps can help you manage waste effectively in your business:


Measure Business Waste

To effectively do this, look at all the bins offered for collection just before the truck arrives. Look at how full they’re and note down the bin’s sizes as well as how often the truck collects waste from your business.

 

That way, you’ll be able to understand the amount of waste material your company produces in a specific time frame.


Reduce Waste Going to Landfill

Make your decision concerning:

  • Reducing- can you change how you operate your business to avoid or reduce waste?

  • Reusing- do other local businesses need the waste materials you produce?

  • Recycling- what materials can your company target for recycling?


Reach Out to Local Collectors of Recyclable Materials

If you know the volume of materials your company produces and those that you can divert from landfill, then you’ll be better placed to identify the most appropriate waste and recycling collection contractor


Understand Recycling Collection Contracts

Whatever you do, try to secure a suitable collection arrangement for the materials you produce. For your first contact, go for your current waste provider. This option may involve the local council or a private operator.

 

Besides evaluating what your business can recycle, you should consider the impact your waste contract arrangements will be facing on your ability to recycle. Think about your current offers and how it’s linked to your waste and recycling practices.


Final Thoughts

As you can see, you can be successful in limiting the risk of COVID by keeping your workplace sparkling clean. It only takes commitment and strictly following the recommended instructions.




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