Factors to Consider When Sanitizing Your Workplace
COVID-19 vaccines from multiple pharmaceutical companies are being distributed across the globe. However, recent mutations of the virus and the limited supply of vaccines continue to slow down progress towards everyday life being back to normal. As such, social distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection are still essential when working in the office.
The virus is dangerous, especially for children and older adults who have compromised immune systems. Its symptoms range from mild instances like coughs, fever, and colds to full-blown respiratory infections and kidney failure. It spreads easily, too, when an infected individual speaks, coughs, or sneezes. These actions spread their infected respiratory droplets in the air. If another person breathes these droplets in, they could get infected, too. And when the virus settles on surfaces, it can stay alive for a few hours to days.
Cleaning Your Office
With so many surfaces for the virus to settle on and the different common areas your office has, it can be daunting to clean and disinfect your workplace. If you want to make your office safer, here are important factors you should consider.
The Different Definitions
First, you and your cleaning staff need to be familiar with cleaning and disinfecting because they can be used interchangeably by others. There’s a huge difference between them.
- Cleaning involves removing dirt, grime and other impurities from a surface. This gets rid of germs and viruses not by killing them, but by removing them from the object they’re clinging onto.
- Disinfecting, on the other hand, involves using chemicals like diluted bleach or isopropyl alcohol to kill or deactivate germs and viruses. This doesn’t necessarily clean the object of any dirt. This why it’s often the second step after cleaning.
You and your team should have a routine to make sure that every surface and corner of your office are consistently clean and disinfected. Start by identifying the high-traffic areas in your workplace. These include the lobby, public bathrooms, and the main workspace.
Prioritize your cleaning and disinfecting efforts in these regions of the office, as employees constantly breathe in the air and touch the appliances in them. Make low-traffic areas, like storage spaces or maintenance closets, lower on your list. When a few people enter these areas, they only stay there for a short time.
The Protective Gear
The virus can easily spread from person to person or when an individual interacts with respiratory droplets on a surface. Plus, your workers also have to deal with chemicals like bleach or alcohol, both of which can be dangerous when too much of their fumes are inhaled.
This is why it’s vital for you and your workers to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) during the clean sweep of your office. Appropriate PPEs include an isolation gown, gloves, face mask, and face shield. These minimize the chances of your workers inhaling the virus or getting it on their skin or eyes. This gear also protects them against exposure to potentially toxic chemicals. You may want to hire a skip when disposing of your PPEs, so you can get them off the premises immediately.
The Tools and Materials
As with any task, you’ll need the right tools and materials to ensure your regular cleaning and disinfecting tasks go smoothly.
Here’s what you’ll need.
- Sponge or rag – You can use a sponge or rags sold in wholesale quantities. These are efficient at cleaning off dirt, but they do wear out with use. As such, it’s important to have a constant supply of them.
- Buckets – You’ll use these to store water for soaping and rinsing.
- Soap and water – This combination is always effective in cleaning off grime and dirt on almost any surface, be it concrete walls, wooden tables, or tile floors.
- Spray bottle – A spray bottle lets you cover a large area by dispersing droplets of disinfectant quickly in multiple directions. Make sure to get one with a large chamber, so you don’t have to refill after just a few spritzes.
- Disinfectant – There are a variety of EPA-approved disinfectants. The most available ones are bleach diluted in water or 70 percentisopropyl alcohol. These will get rid of viruses and germs on a surface easily.;
Even with vaccines being rolled out, the COVID-19 pandemic still shouldn’t be underestimated. The threat of infection is still high, especially if your workers still commute to and from your office. Make sure they’re safe and protected by knowing the best practices in cleaning and disinfecting their workplace.