Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit the UK in March 2020, there have been multiple changes in the approaches, best practise, and diligence required when it comes to reviewing cleaning procedures.
While this focus on hygiene is positive, it can be confusing to understand how they apply to your site or premises, and the options that are open to you.
Clearway has created a guide to help simplify the government guidance as outlined on their website and ensure that you understand precisely what the new regulations mean and how they apply to your properties.
Covid-19 Risk Factors in Non-Healthcare Workplaces
Every site is unique and has its own challenges when it comes to risk factors. These can include:
- Surface contamination
- Visitors, staff or members of the public who have visited & then been found to be infected or a carrier
- How long an individual may have spent in the setting
- The time that has passed since this potential contamination has occurred
Coronavirus spreads through droplets from coughing or sneezing. If these droplets are then touched or picked up by another person who then touches their face or mouth, there is a risk that they may become infected.
Thorough, regular cleaning is the ideal way to prevent such spreads, particularly within the first 48-hours of potential contamination.
Cleaning Protocols for Sites and Premises
Government guidance for non-healthcare premises and sites sets-out suggestions for how property managers, landlords and owners can mitigate the spread of a virus, and keep their premises safe.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Regularly cleaning with bleach and detergent is essential. This should include all surfaces, particularly door handles, light switches, working surfaces, remote controls, electronic devices or any other handheld items or frequently handled parts of the building.
Should a visitor or member of the public become ill, then every surface where the person has spent a minimal time should be cleaned thoroughly.
For those surfaces which have come into direct content, disinfection is necessary – this includes things such as telephones, door handles and bathrooms.
Disposable cleaning products should be used and replaced after each item has been disinfected. The cleaning solution used should be:
- A detergent disinfectant solution diluted to 1,000 parts per million available chlorine (ppm av.cl.).
- A household detergent, followed by disinfecting as above.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
PPE is not required for general cleaning. More regular cleans should be scheduled for areas such as bathrooms and kitchens where these are public or communal.
Surfaces are touched regularly and often, so keeping these areas clean, especially where food preparation is involved is crucial.
Care should be given to:
- Not sharing eating utensils or crockery.
- Providing handwashing facilities including running water, soap and dryers.
- Using hand drying materials that are not multi-use for more than one person (i.e. towels).
- Following the Food Standards Agency (FSA) processes in businesses in the food services or preparation industries.
Safe Waste Disposal
There are no new requirements for managing waste disposal, provided an individual using the premises has not been identified as having contracted Covid-19.
However, if an infected person has been on the site, then all personal waste from the premises should be disposed of immediately, including PPE, cleaning products and tissues.
Such items should be disposed of:
- Immediately in a securely tied rubbish bag.
- Double bagged before disposal.
- Marked for storage until test results are confirmed.
If testing is negative, rubbish can be disposed of as usual.
If testing is positive, then it must be disposed of as Category B infectious waste, and be managed by a specialist contractor.
PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
Many businesses now incorporate PPE as standard, and this is required in public settings where visitors must wear face coverings where possible. Staff must be provided with reasonable barriers to potential contamination.
In terms of professional cleaning, if a visitor or user has contracted Covid-19, or is known to have become infected then the cleaning professional should have as a minimum disposable gloves, an apron, and access to handwashing facilities immediately on removing the PPE.
Additional PPE such as face guards or visors may be required in high-risk settings.
The full details of the government guidelines can be found online, or you can find out more about extreme cleaning services here.