As the American workplace begins to re-open after a turbulent and uncertain six months, what protocols can managers and leadership put in place to maximize the safety of their employees? Implementation of, and adherence to, basic hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting protocols can slow the spread of the virus and allow the workers to return safely to their workplace.
Previous to the onset of COVID-19, hygiene in the workplace, outside of the healthcare or cosmetic industries, was rarely discussed, seen as unimportant and guidance was not strictly followed. As businesses and offices slowly start to reopen, developing effective protocols for cleaning and disinfecting workspaces has never been more important.
To aid a safe return to the workplace, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) released their ‘Healthy Returns’ toolkit (REF 1). Resources in the toolkit are based on public health recommendations and aim to guide and educate employees on effective hygiene protocols for shared workspaces. ‘The Dirty Dozen’, an infographic included in the toolkit lists the most commonly touched surfaces in the workplace (REF 2). It is these areas that require the closest attention for cleaning and disinfection.
Dr. Jason Slosberg, trained physician and CEO of Everwipe, noted that: (placeholder): “As the American workforce returns to the office, it will be absolutely critical to continuously establish and improve upon protocol for keeping spaces and surfaces clean. Following these protocols—when done correctly—should be simple. But to do so requires an understanding of the language and impact of the various products available to consumers”.
Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitization
Understanding the difference between cleaning and disinfecting is critical to maintaining hygiene standards that aid in protecting the spread of pathogens and keep us all safe as workplaces begin re-opening (REF 3). Cleaning—the first step– removes dirt, impurities and germs from surfaces using soap or detergent and water. Disinfection uses chemicals to kill germs, viruses and other pathogens on surfaces. Cleaning and disinfecting should be used consecutively to ensure a reliable result. Cleaning is primarily a cosmetic function, but a necessary first step to ensure that surfaces are truly as free of impurities and pathogens as possible. Certain EPA-registered products are capable of both cleaning and disinfecting.
Keeping the workplace safe for everyone
This process of cleaning and disinfecting should be integrated into working practices and applied diligently, especially to The Dirty Dozen, to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and other potential pathogens.
To ensure all surfaces are clean and disinfected, it is important to follow the effective disinfecting guidelines listed below:
- Use an EPA-registered disinfectant. (REF 4) The EPA recommends various types of disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2. Everwipe Disinfecting Wipes are EPA-registered and are trusted by industries nationwide to provide reliable disinfection in communal areas. For more information on safety protocols, refer to CDC guidelines (REF 5). For more cleaning and disinfecting tips, visit Everwipe.com.
- Clean the area thoroughly before disinfecting. Removing the dirt, impurities and germs from The Dirty Dozen is the essential first step before fully disinfecting the surface.
- Wipe the area down with a disinfectant wipe and allow the surface to fully dry to account for the “dwell time” necessary to fully kill pathogens. The dwell time maybe up to 10 minutes, so always read and follow the instructions carefully.
EPA-registered Everwipe Disinfecting Wipes are a reliable solution for workplaces and are proven to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria in just 15 seconds. Everwipe disinfectant wipes—and similar EPA-registered wipes—are capable of both cleaning and disinfecting surfaces concurrently with one wipe. Our healthcare-grade wipes are trusted by industries nationwide to provide reliable disinfection that complements your protocol. For more information on these protocols, refer to CDC guidelines for further information on effective wiping products and solutions, visit Everwipe.com.