Personal and workplace health and safety is surely on everyone’s mind as we prepare to return to work.
The janitorial industry has known the value of “cleaning for health” for many years. The current situation places its importance front and center! “Cleaning for health” emphasizes creating the healthiest building environment possible – keeping building occupants safe and healthy. Hence, the goal of cleaning for health vs. cleaning for appearance is to prevent or stop the spread of bacteria and viruses.
“Cleaning for health” today means reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfecting our workplaces, homes, schools, and businesses. This can involve cleaning, and cleaning + applying an EPA registered disinfectant to surfaces.
How can you be sure you’re doing the right thing? Here are some excellent definitions and guidelines from the CDC:
Terms to Know
Cleaning – Cleaning with soap (surfactants) and water removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting – Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Guidelines to Follow
DEVELOP YOUR PLAN
- DETERMINE WHAT NEEDS TO BE CLEANED: Areas unoccupied for 7 or more days need only routine cleaning. This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces long than this time. Maintain existing cleaning practices for outdoor areas.
- DETERMINE HOW AREAS WILL BE DISINFECTED. Consider the type of surface and how often the surface is touched. Prioritize disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
- CONSIDER THE RESOURCES AND EQUIPMENT NEEDED. Keep in mind the availability of cleaning products and personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for cleaners and disinfectants
- CLEAN VISIBLY DIRTY SURFACES WITH SOAP AND WATER prior to disinfection.
- USE THE APPROPRIATE CLEANING OR DISINFECTANT PRODUCT. Use an EPA-approved disinfectant against COVID-19, and read the label to make sure it meets your needs.
- ALWAYS FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE LABEL. The label will include safety information and application instructions. Keep disinfectants out of the reach of children.
MAINTAIN AND REVISE
- CONTINUE ROUTINE CLEANING AND DISINFECTION. Continue or revise your plan based upon appropriate disinfectant and PPE availability. Dirty surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. Routinely disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily.
- MAINTAIN SAFE PRACTICES such as frequent handwashing, using cloth face coverings, and staying home if you are sick.
- CONTINUE PRACTICES THAT REDUCE THE POTENTIAL FOR EXPOSURE. Maintain social distancing, staying six feet away from others. Reduce sharing of common spaces and frequently touched objects.
For further, more detailed information please see: CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting
Our hard-working Populist Team is here to help you prepare to bring back your employees, clients, and customers. We are keeping up to date with EPA, CDC, and OSHA guidelines and best practices for our day-to-day work responsibilities.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need cleaning and disinfecting services.