Following the recent guidelines, many businesses in the UK have now been allowed to re-open and operate, however, whilst we as part of the cleaning industry resume our services, navigating our way through what now has become the revised “standard”, it is now as important as ever to ensure that the high cleaning standards are maintained. COVID-19 has not gone away with the very distinct possibility that “Phase 2” so maintaining the very high cleaning standards in the workplace is imperative in place to help reduce the spread of the virus.
There are several steps available to business owners to help control and reduce the spread of the virus. Where feasible ensuring that the “social distancing” guidelines are the most effective method. If you don’t come in contact with other people who may have it, you can’t catch it and pass it on. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, especially difficult for some businesses and their working environment and as such people are more likely to come in to contact with each other, PPE is the next preferred option but again, this isn’t always a feasible option. If your business is open suitable cleaning and disinfection routines should be put in place.
Below is some basic information we feel you should know and the first steps to take in order to maintain the cleanest, safest environment for you to provide that duty of care to you, your staff and your clients.
Know the Terms
Knowing what you are dealing with is a big part of fighting against COVID-19. So’ here is some clarification:
- Coronavirus is a broad category of viruses. There are seven known coronaviruses that can infect people. They were first identified in the 1960s. You may hear people call this latest one “the new coronavirus” or “the novel coronaviruses to specify which one they’re talking about.
- SARS-CoV-2 is the name for the “newest” coronavirus, which was discovered at the end of 2019.
- COVID-19 is a disease that is caused by SARS-CoV-2. The name comprises from the makeup of COronaVIrus Disease that was discovered in 2019.
It is also important to know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting but as a little reminder…
“Cleaning” means removing dirt and impurities from surfaces. It doesn’t kill germs, but it decreases the number of germs on a given surface, this in itself will help reduce the risk of infection.
“Disinfecting” refers to killing germs, usually with chemicals like EPA-registered disinfectants. The surface may not necessarily look cleaner, and the germs may still be present, but they will be dead.
To reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19 or any bacteria or virus, the best way is to use both processes.
Firstly, clean all surfaces to remove the majority of the germs and clean away any dirt. Secondly, disinfect all surfaces this time to kill and eradicate any germs that may remain.
If your employees feel unwell, they should not come into the workplace.
This should be standard place already to restrict the spreading of any illness but, it’s very important right now. Anyone experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 should avoid others. Ensure as part of your guidelines that all your employees know that they expected to stay home if they are feeling ill with any symptoms.
It is very important to keep your employees aware of the current Government Guidelines that they should follow if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and how they can arrange a test.
Use PPE where suitable any
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), is an important part of preventing the spread of infectious diseases. PPE includes face masks, gowns, and disposable gloves. These items are important, but they’re only effective if used well and some may not be relevant to your working environment.
Masks are the most effective preventative but only when everyone is wearing them. People can carry the new Coronavirus without showing symptoms, wearing a face-covering is a best practice for everyone. If your staff are required to wear facemasks, ensure they are aware of how they should wear them correctly (Covering the mouth and nose). Obviously, there are some exceptions to the rules, and you need to be fully aware of the current guidelines regarding the wearing of masks.
Gloves should only be used where required and are only effective if they are disposed of and changed after each use. In most circumstances, it is more effective to wash hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitiser as mentioned above.
COVID-19 Risk Assessments
You are now required to have a COVID-19 Risk Assessment in place for your business. We at The Organised cleaning company ensure that the duty of care to our cleaners whilst on site is met, along with any staff or clients present, the teams will follow the government guidelines we update them with daily which includes information on specific COVID-19 related issues, PPE and general cleaning activities.
How to clean and disinfect your building
If you are planning on undertaking the clean of your building yourself, we highly recommend that you do this following all guidelines, i.e like washing hands etc., as the procedures are there for a reason. It is not worth trying to cut corners or reduce costs, as you could be putting yourself or your staff at risk. Putting together a comprehensive cleaning schedule is imperative to ensure you take care of everything you need to.
Ensure your employees use suitable hygiene and handwashing procedures, especially in the workplace.
You and your employees should wash hands thoroughly, for the full recommended 20 seconds.
If hand-washing is not suitable an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content should be used on a regular basis. Hand Sanitiser is now readily available in shops and online. You can even download a copy of our Handwashing poster here.
Sorting what requires cleaning from disinfecting
It is important to Identify what needs cleaning, and what needs to be disinfected. Many surfaces and objects may be fine with a regular clean, but areas with a higher volume of touchpoints will probably need to be disinfected as well. Download our High Touchpoint cleaning poster for a list of areas that will need a more regular cleaning and disinfection schedule.
Don’t forget to clean the external areas too. It’s advisable that you think about areas that people touch, door handles, handrails, tables & benches etc. All of these places can harbour the virus for hours or days even though they are outside.
In addition, it should be noted that as a rule, if nobody has been either working or present within your building/premises/office for 7 days, a normal cleaning routine should be fine upon your return to work. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has not been medically shown to survive on surfaces for longer than a week, however, once staff return and resume the day to day activities, it is essential that for prevention that the disinfecting process is carried out.
For further information please refer to the official guidance from the UK government for cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home.
Consider outsourcing to a commercial cleaning service provider.
Professional cleaners like ourselves already have the experience and cleaning products required to help keep your business and the workplace safe whilst using the correct PPE. We come in carry out the required clean at hand so you can focus on your business and keeping yourself, your staff and your customers or visitors safe, whilst we focus on your cleaning.
Help prevent the spread of this or any other virus in your business
It’s very important to ensure that you follow all guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- This means enforcing rules regarding the use of PPE for your employees where appropriate.
- It means advising employees who feel ill to stay home.
- It means strictly following appropriate procedures for handwashing, cleaning, and disinfecting.
- And it means keeping the environment thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
One way to reduce the risk is to leave the cleaning and disinfecting to us the professionals. The Organised Cleaning Company group can take that huge weight off your shoulders giving you that peace of mind. Whichever trade or service you are in i.e retail, foodservice, an office environment, a School or even a GP surgery, professional cleaners have the training needed to keep you safe.
Please contact The Team on 0207 458 4433 for any further information