How To Keep Your Workplace Healthy and Safe During COVID-19
As workers begin to go back to work while the spread of COVID-19 is still a major concern, the emphasis must be on routine cleaning and disinfecting in the workplace. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has SARS-CoV-2 on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Along with routine cleaning and disinfecting, workers should continue to practice social distancing, wear facial coverings, and follow proper prevention hygiene such as washing hands frequently and using alcohol-based (at least 60% alcohol) hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. The CDC recommends that surfaces like countertops, desktops, phones, computer keyboards, door handles, elevator buttons, staircase railings, and other high-touch services be routinely cleaned and disinfected.
Whether your business is an office, restaurant, retail establishment, church, car dealership, medical facility, or industrial warehouse, hiring a qualified, commercial cleaning & janitorial service that knows what they are doing during a viral pandemic is the first line of defense to make sure that all spaces are properly cleaned and disinfected.
Cleaning, Sanitizing & Disinfecting: Know the Difference
Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are terms that are often used interchangeably and incorrectly. However, knowing the difference between these terms is critical to ensure that the most effective cleaning practices are being used against the spread of Covid-19:
Cleaning typically involves soap and water and removes dust, debris, and dirt from surfaces by scrubbing, washing, and rinsing. According to the CDC, normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure.
Cleaning alone will contribute favorably to the health of indoor occupants because allergens and microorganisms are being removed from the surfaces of the indoor environment. However, cleaning with soap and water alone will not kill viruses (like Covid-19, influenza, and rhinovirus).
Sanitizing uses heat or chemicals to reduce the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level. Sanitizing kills and reduces the number of bacteria present by 99.9 percent, but does nothing about viruses and fungus. Sanitizing is better than cleaning alone but the reduction of pathogen populations on environmental surfaces is exponentially better when you disinfect.
Sanitizer label instructions should be followed in order to comply with the requirements for proper solution preparation, surface application, pathogen efficacy, and contact time. EPA-approved sanitizers only have claims for bacteria, while disinfectants have claims against both bacteria and viruses.
Disinfectants are the only products approved by the EPA to kill viruses on hard surfaces. Disinfecting uses chemicals or other means to kill germs on surfaces or objects, typically requires longer dwell time than sanitizing, and does not clean dirty surfaces. Disinfecting destroys or inactivates both the bacteria and viruses (like Covid-19, influenza, and rhinovirus) on hard, nonporous surfaces.
Disinfectant label instructions should be followed to comply with the requirements for proper solution preparation, surface application, pathogen efficacy, and contact time. According to Saskia Popescu, Ph.D., MPH, MA, CIC, a senior hospital infection prevention epidemiologist at HonorHealth and paid Clorox consultant, disinfecting hard, nonporous surfaces is one of the most reliable ways to help lower the risk of spreading germs from surfaces.
Using The Right Products
The virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed if you use the right products. The EPA has compiled a list of disinfectant products that can be used against COVID-19, including ready-to-use sprays, concentrates, and wipes. Each product has been shown to be effective against viruses that are harder to kill than viruses like the one that causes COVID-19
Basic Infection Prevention Measures For Employers
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), protecting workers will depend on emphasizing basic infection prevention measures. As appropriate, all employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices, including:
- Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
- Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes. GUIDANCE ON PREPARING WORKPLACES FOR COVID-19 9
- Provide customers and the public with tissues and trash receptacles.
- Employers should explore whether they can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others if state and local health authorities recommend the use of social distancing strategies.
- Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
- Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the work environment.
- When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).
Staying informed about the latest developments and recommendations is critical, since specific guidance may change based upon evolving outbreak situations. Federal, state, and local government agencies are the best source of information in the event of an infectious disease outbreak, such as COVID-19.
Recommended COVID-19 Websites
Below are several recommended websites where you can obtain the most current and accurate information:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration website: www.osha.gov
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: www.cdc.gov
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health website: www.cdc.gov/niosh
Why You Should Hire Cleanstart
At Cleanstart, we have been in the commercial cleaning business for over 27 years and have been on the front lines fighting the spread of COVID-19 since the outbreak. (See Cleanstart featured in TIME Magazine Video). Our professional cleaning staff is trained in the latest technologies, cleaning & disinfectant products, and procedures and follow proper guidelines established by the CDC, EPA, and OSHA.
Our deep cleaning and advanced disinfecting services include a combination of hand wiping and the use of an electrostatic sprayer to apply a safe, EPA-certified disinfectant solution proven for use against COVID-19 and other viruses. At Cleanstart, we care about clean and the health and safety of our community.
Our comprehensive commercial cleaning, office janitorial, and advanced disinfecting services are competitively priced and come with quick response times. We can create a customized cleaning plan tailored to your business’ needs and schedule. Daily, weekly, monthly, and even one-time cleaning and disinfecting services, as well as day and night options, are available.
Industries We Serve
We provide state-of-the-art commercial cleaning and advanced disinfecting services for a variety of facility types and industries including:
You can count on Cleanstart for high-quality cleaning and disinfecting with every visit – no job is too big or too small. We also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee: If for whatever reason our 5-star quality cleaning standard is not met, we will make it right by correcting the issue within one business day.
Our commercial cleaning and janitorial services tick all the boxes:
✓ Over 25 years in the cleaning industry
✓ Professionally trained janitorial specialists
✓ Committed to the highest quality of clean
✓ Local, licensed, bonded & insured
✓ 24/7 cleaning options & support
✓ Customized cleaning solutions
✓ 100% satisfaction guarantee
✓ OSHA, HIPAA, EPA, CDC, AORN compliant
✓ BBB A+ rating
If you would like more information about our comprehensive commercial cleaning, janitorial, and advanced disinfecting services, please give us a call today at 253-921-2593. Request a Free Estimate!
Where we service in the PNW:
Auburn, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bonney Lake, Bremerton, Factoria, Fife, Gig Harbor, Kent, Lakewood, Olympia, Puyallup, Renton, Seattle, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, King County, Kitsap County, Pierce County, and Thurston County.
5009 Pacific Hwy E unit 17 Fife, WA 98424 • Phone: 253.921.2593 • Email: Caleb @ thecleanstart.com