As we start to head back into schools and the office, it is more important than ever for employers to ensure our workplaces are kept clean.
It is the duty of an employer to protect people from harm. Regular cleaning plays a vital role in limiting the transmission of COVID-19, and is a critical part of making your business “COVID-secure”.
Coronavirus can transfer from people to surfaces. It can be passed on to others who touch the same surfaces. People can become infected if they touch their nose, eyes or mouth with a contaminated hand or object.
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk:
- Increase the frequency of cleaning of general room surfaces to reduce the presence of the virus and the risk of contact. This can be with standard cleaning products such as detergents and bleach.
- Identify frequently touched surfaces and objects and ensure these are cleaned more often. These are objects such as door handles, light switches, work surfaces and even remote controls. Ideally, surfaces and objects should be cleaned after each use where possible (for example, telephones or conference facilities, particularly where many people could have touched the object). However, sometimes this is not practical and so they should be cleaned more often.
- Develop a cleaning routine: it is advisable to do a deep clean (a thorough clean of all frequently touched surfaces) at least once a day. This should be supplemented by periodic cleaning at different set times of the day
- The cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is especially important in bathrooms and kitchens. There should be suitable hand washing facilities available, including running water, liquid soap and paper towels/hand driers.
- Anyone handling food should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before doing so. Crockery and eating utensils should not be shared.
- If your business or school has a cleaning team, it is important that everyone co-operates with them. For example, something as small as keeping a desk tidy at the end of the day can make a deep clean more effective.
- There shouldn’t be a need for any different cleaning products. Your usual products should be effective enough. Any reusable cloths should be cleaned in soap and water after use.
- It is good practice to wipe down surfaces at least twice a day – at the beginning and the end.
All these actions will help to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. And this will hopefully mean we can get back to a more “normal” life sooner.