Top 5 Ways to Clean and Disinfect for Employee Health & Safety

It’s been almost exactly two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began its first wave in the U.S. Since that time, many lessons have been learned. Most notably, individuals and institutions have gained a renewed appreciation for the importance of proper hygiene, health, and safety. Cleaner facilities cultivate healthier, happier employees, reduce the number of illness-related absences, and function more productively on the whole. Simply put, prioritizing cleaning and disinfection protocols in your facility is a worthwhile investment for reasons beyond basic building maintenance (though this matters too).

Of course, understanding the importance of cleaning and disinfection in regards to employee health and safety is one thing – actually implementing an effective, efficient cleaning and disinfection strategy is something else entirely. The best strategies for these purposes involve careful planning, the proper resources, strong communication, and more. Let’s outline the top five ways to clean and disinfect your facility for the improved health and safety of all employees and occupants.

Top Five Ways to Clean and Disinfect Your Facility

1. Create a Cleaning Routine Optimized for Your Facility

It’s difficult to navigate without a map, just as it’s hard to accomplish a task without proper instructions. Likewise, attempting to clean and disinfect your facility without a detailed game plan won’t yield the results you’re looking for. Before anything else, then, you should establish a checklist and routine for your facility’s cleaning and disinfection needs.

In order to create an optimized plan, you must first consider which areas and surfaces require the most attention – these are the places and features in your facility that receive the most activity, such as restrooms, door knobs, desks, elevator buttons, hallways, and so on. Once you’ve established a hierarchy of cleaning and disinfection needs, you must then determine how frequently each surface requires attention and what the process itself will involve. It’s important to note that, while related, cleaning and disinfection are distinct operations – the former removes contaminants from a surface while the latter kills said contaminants when properly used. There are also multiple methods for cleaning and disinfecting different types of surfaces, which you can learn more about from the CDC here.

Coming up with a routine and making necessary adjustments will ensure that every inch of your facility routinely receives the care it deserves so all occupants remain safe and healthy inside.

2. Implement the Right Products for Your Needs

It won’t matter how rigorous your cleaning routine is if it doesn’t feature the best products and equipment for the job. Indeed, not all cleaning solutions or disinfectants are created equal, and some options will be better- or worse-suited for your facility’s needs. When selecting disinfectants, you’ll only want to use products registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). From there, it’s important to carefully read a given product’s label for proper instructions. Different disinfectants are labeled for use against specific pathogens, viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. Morover, spray-on disinfectants feature a particular dwell time, which refers to the time it takes for the product to eliminate contaminants when resting on the surface; if you wipe off the disinfectant prior to this dwell time, some germs might survive. Professional disinfection services are always aware of these details and follow instructions carefully.

Generally speaking, you can be a bit less picky when it comes to selecting cleaning products. That said, it’s becoming more common and prudent to opt for eco-friendly (i.e., “green”) cleaning solutions for several reasons. For starters, green cleaning products are better for the environment, contributing to a healthier atmosphere, even if only in a small way. These products are also free of potentially harmful chemicals, making them safer for indoor use. Last but not least, adopting green initiatives can boost your reputation and employee morale.

3. Prioritize and Improve Indoor Air Quality

Spraying and wiping down surfaces isn’t the only way to cultivate a cleaner, healthier work environment. Maintaining clean indoor air offers a more fundamental way to keep your employees healthy and safe. In fact, improving your facility’s indoor air quality (IAQ) will diminish the amount of dust, germs, and other pollutants that wind up on surfaces, decreasing the amount of cleaning and disinfecting necessary to maintain an ideal environment. One of the best ways to achieve these outcomes is by installing state-of-the-art air purification/filtration systems – these technologies can filter out a wide range of particles (including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19) and increase energy efficiency at the same time. Opening doors and windows on temperate days is another simple yet effective way to boost ventilation in your facility.

4. Keep All Occupants Informed and Involved

Commercial cleaning is in many ways a communal effort. As such, communication is key to keeping everyone safe and healthy. All employees should receive training regarding any changes to cleaning and disinfection protocols so they remain in the loop. They should also be notified in advance of any deep cleaning operations to avoid interruptions or accidents. Posting clear signage in key areas (e.g., hand washing guides, wet floor signs, general hygiene reminders) will also help keep everyone on the same page. Many businesses have also placed hand sanitizer stations around their facilities to allow employees to take their personal hygiene into their own hands (literally) at their discretion.

5. Designate and Fill Roles

Though everyone has a role to play in maintaining a clean, healthy, sanitary workplace, some people’s roles are more specifically aimed at these goals than others. Deploying your carefully conceived cleaning and disinfection routine requires the right number of trained personnel in key roles. Depending on the size of your operation, you might keep your disinfection, cleaning, and janitorial services in-house, or it might make more sense to outsource these services. Automation may also factor in – today, cleaning machines can handle a variety of tasks with minimal oversight, freeing up cleaning staff members to take on more specific and challenging tasks. Whatever the case, make sure your facility is outfitted with the right people for the necessary tasks at hand.

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic declines, strong cleaning and disinfection protocols remain an important aspect of ensuring safe, healthy facilities. Here at The Budd Group, we empower facility management teams to protect their people and assets with state-of-the-art equipment, facility support offerings, and high-quality cleaning, disinfection, and maintenance services. To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!

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