Changes to the WH&S Act (Work Health and Safety Act of 2011), over the last 20 years mean that it is essential to keep the workplace safe, and part of this is keeping it clean. With the advent of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the commercial cleaning contract has become more important than ever as clients now expect a higher standard of cleanliness and hygiene before entering commercial premises.
Commercial cleaning companies use EPA-rated disinfectants that have now been proven to kill viruses, and this is comforting to both staff and clients when we are all feeling ‘edgy’ about catching anything, especially Coronavirus.
What is Coronavirus ( COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease is a highly infectious disease, caused by a newly discovered virus. Often, only mild symptoms occur, but sometimes the symptoms can be life-threatening. The disease appears to be constantly mutating, this is common in viruses. So in order to keep us safe, it is important to keep our surroundings clean both at home and at work.
Common COVID-19 Signs and Symptoms
Coronavirus is primarily a respiratory virus, that can start off as a cold leading to coughing and often shortness of breath. This can progress to high fevers, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Older people appear to experience worse complications with clots in the lungs and strokes possible. Having said that, some people can have coronavirus and remain asymptomatic, and this is risky as it is thought that they are still able to transmit the virus to other people. This is why many of us have been asked to work from home during the pandemic to prevent the further spread of the virus.
The virus is thought to be mostly spread through droplet infection and necessitating the need to wear masks in public as masks slow transmission from the spread of droplets from the nose and mouth of an infected person. The incubation period of the virus seems to vary from 5-18 days, so if a person has been exposed it is doubly important that they remain at home until the incubation period has passed.
Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus in Your Commercial Space
The guidelines to help combat coronavirus are based on the Department of Health recommendations and are advisory in nature.
- Social distancing should apply in the office, try to stay two arms lengths away from the next person.
- Face coverings, masks should be worn.
- In healthcare settings, full face masks should be worn.
- Minimize contact with others, don’t shake hands.
- Depending on the nature of your business extra PPE ( Personal Protective Equipment) may be needed.
- When cleaning down your workstation using an approved disinfectant (EPA).
- Check your Industry-specific guidelines for further advice.
- Speak to your workers about the importance of staying home when feeling unwell. Send around a memo to this effect.
- Put a large sign on your front door warning the public not to enter if they have symptoms.
- Have a security guard taking temperatures at the door.
- If anyone has a temperature they don’t enter.
- Get the COVID safe app to track infections.
- Consulting with a professional biohazard cleanup company. Having a professional hygiene prevention company to assist with preventative hygiene plans is vital. A team of experts can provide you with an encompassing review and plan to keep your business or facility as safe as possible for employees and visitors.
How Does Commercial Cleaning Help Protect Against Viral Infections
Commercial cleaners have training in safe workplace cleaning. They also have systems in place for the use of their equipment and use the correct cleaning fluids and do a commercial disinfect to combat the virus.
- The cleaning team will use an industrial vacuum with a HEPA filter removing particulates from the air.
- While cleaning, they will wear their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including disposable rubber gloves, as it is important that they remain safe.
- They will use EPA-approved disinfectants and understand the appropriate use of them.
- You will have pre-arranged times when your cleaning team arrives (twice weekly), and it ideally should be when the workers have left the building.
- This enables the cleaners to clean without being interrupted.
- All surfaces will be disinfected, and this is important, ask that your employees clean their desks off before they leave for the day.
Industrial Disinfectants Used in Commercial Cleaning are Effective Against COVID-19
It has now been proven that many commercial and industrial EPA-rated disinfectants are 99% effective against coronavirus. The EPA has a list of these disinfectants and of course, all disinfectant makers want to be on the list, so they are all trying to go through the approval process. However, only approved disinfectants are on the EPA list. There are also some aerosol sprays, these can be sprayed daily before your staff arrives, and after they leave as the sprays kill germs in the air and on surfaces.
Help Prevent the Spread of Viral Infections in your Business Keep COVID Commercial Cleaning Ontrack
It is up to all of us to prevent the spread of viral infections in the workplace. The business owner also has a ‘ duty of care’ under the Work Health & Safety Act as mentioned earlier to maintain a safe workplace. This can be aided by having a WH&S Act checklist and getting two elected employees to do the monthly checklist audit. Since Covid19 most workplaces have added an Infection Control Checklist that assesses cleanliness and hygiene within the office.
They may make recommendations around hygiene, for example. If the work staff room does not have a dishwasher, then this is an essential tool for infection control. The business owner will need to put one in immediately, as the kitchen must be thoroughly clean, and employees are not good at washing up their plates and cutlery.
Another advantage is in the bathrooms, where hand driers are now thought to spread germs, and we are going back to using disposable paper towels.
If you have a large office with 50 or more staff it may be worth asking an independent company to come in and do a ‘one-off audit’ This audit will show any weakness in your system and how to rectify it. As an employer, there are often things that we haven’t thought of, and the audit will show us how to fix the problem. This is great as the Independent Auditor then provides you with a certificate of accreditation to frame and put up in your workplace, reassuring the public that you are doing everything to maintain a safe workplace. Your commercial cleaning company is very much a part of this plan, and this is what they do.
Managing Infection Control in the Workplace
360 Hazardous is able to identify, assess, and contain the risk on behalf of your company, and because they do all this while you and your team are out of the building there is no ‘down time’ to you and your staff. You are in the best hands as 360 Hazardous is fully certified and trained in risk management. They follow legislative requirements for cleaning and disinfecting your workplace because they are able to respond quickly the emergency is usually over enabling you to get straight back to business.
Commercial cleaning is gaining popularity and these days biohazard control is essential.
Biohazards take many different forms and there are laws to dispose of biohazards appropriately. Once we have defeated COVID-19 and the end is in sight, we will probably have another virus to take its place, and we are always going to need the best commercial cleaning team that we can get to keep our business clean and operational in uncertain times.
We are dedicated to providing rapid response to reduce the risk of Covid-19 from spreading and prevent further infection. 360 technicians are prepared, certified, and insured professionals, experienced in biohazard remediation and cleaning. Our protocols follow OSHA and CDC guidelines, and all of our cleaning compounds are EPA-rated and approved. We are available 24/7/365.