Keeping Your Workplace SAFE
The COVID-19 outbreak has given us a reminder that active steps must be taken to reduce the risk of contagious illnesses in your workplace. Whether your workplace is currently closed, partially open, or fully operational, now is the time to ensure that a plan is in place to ensure the safety of your employees and clients. By following Germie’s SAFE virus prevention guidelines (Sanitation, Attention to detail, Frequency, and Education), your workplace can proceed with peace of mind, knowing that current and future outbreaks are effectively controlled.
Every office needs a sanitation procedure of some sort. It is important to document and test your office’s sanitation procedure to ensure that your methods are effective for your workspace, and up to date. Current evidence suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the recent COVID-19 outbreak can live on surfaces for hours to days depending on the climate and surface. This is not uncommon among microorganisms. Many can sustain life on surfaces for multiple days at a time while multiplying at rapid rates. The CDC recommends that cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses. Sanitary surfaces, or surfaces upon which the germ count is lowered to a safe level, can be created by the removal of germs (Cleaning) or the killing of germs (Disinfecting).
When a surface is disinfected, it means a chemical product or effective physical method has been used to kill the germs upon that surface.
Technology enhanced disinfecting methods are used in specific situations to provide additional benefits that typical chemical disinfectants cannot meet by themselves.
Attention to Detail
Any sanitation must be done with the upmost attention to detail to ensure proper results. A cleaner must form a comprehensive plan prior to any cleaning or disinfecting begins. They must identify and make note of all “touch points” in the room. Ideally, a map or floorplan, a thorough cleaning checklist, and a journal are all utilized throughout the process. The floorplan and checklist can be used as tools for the cleaner to remind them of all areas that require cleaning, as well as highlighting any touch points that require additional care. They can note which cleaning methods, and disinfectants are to be used for a particular surface, and jot down any additional notes from the current clean in the journal.
Candidates that make great cleaners tend to score high in the personality trait conscientiousness, which means careful and diligent. Conscientiousness implies a desire to do a task well, and to take obligations to others seriously. Conscientious people tend to be efficient and organized as opposed to easy-going and disorderly. They exhibit a tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for achievement; they display planned rather than spontaneous behavior; and they are generally dependable.
Food Contact Surfaces should receive some sort of cleaning and/or disinfecting between each meal, or every 4 hours.
Desks, Keyboards, Desk Phones should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly a minimum of once per week, and maintained throughout the week by removing loose papers, trash, and food.
Common areas such as meeting rooms and lobby furniture should be cleaned and disinfected once per week.
Public bathroom sinks, countertops, and taps should be cleaned and disinfected once per day if possible, or once every other day if using a long-lasting disinfectant.
Toilet bowls should be bleached and scrubbed once per week.
Vacuuming of carpet or sweeping & cleaning of hard floors should be done once every other day, or once per day in high traffic areas.
Carpet and upholstery deep sanitation is recommended at a minimum of once every 3 months.
“Touch Points" should be identified, mapped out, and cleaned as often as possible. It is also recommended to avoid touching these areas with your hands as much as possible to avoid spreading germs across the office.
Germie ensures proper frequency in your office by thoroughly examining your office and identifying which areas fall into which categories. If even one area is consistently overlooked, it can quickly become a high-risk area for your employees and clients.