Hygiene and solutions for tackling Covid-19 in the workplace

Busienss Insights

How can we limit the spread of Covid-19?

We predict a much greater reliance on and respect for our army of cleaners, janitors, and housekeeping teams. Across the country the fight will fall to them to keep the deadly pathogens at bay.

Business owners must plan a robust ongoing hygiene program to give their employees and customers peace of mind and confidence in returning to them. Wiping surfaces once each day will not suffice if the surface becomes infected 5 minutes later. How many people could contract Coronavirus in a workplace if one infected person touches a door handle or handrail at the beginning of the day? Increased cleaning frequencies to high touch point areas is now a basic priority.

All businesses will want to offer reassurance to staff and customers by having a more visual and on demand cleaning system in place. Cleaning is no longer reserved for after hours when everyone has gone home. How well your premises is cleaned will become a badge of honour, to market to your customers, to promote as being the safest, the cleanest, the healthiest, the most conscious, the most innovative, the most Covid-free.

In reality, customers will be looking for contractors to offer solutions to COVID-19 that will eliminate or greatly reduce exposure for their workforce or general public. They will be keen to demonstrate that they have provided the latest in innovation in order to give staff and public, peace of mind and confidence in returning to work and public spaces.

We recommend a focus on preventative rather than reactive measures. The key is lasting decontamination and disinfection of surfaces, not to be confused with cleaning alone. Cleaning a surface is not the same as disinfecting it, but it is a very important step in the process that people are missing out. The cleaning process involves scrubbing an area with soap and water to remove dirt, grime and surface biofilm, while disinfecting means applying a chemical to kill the residual germs and viruses that remain afterwards.

Understanding the differences between disinfectants is also important. Antibacterial or Antimicrobial? Whilst the majority believe that using an antibacterial cleaner will protect them against viruses, they would be wrong. Antibacterial disinfectants and cleaners can still kill bacteria and prevent the development of bacteria-induced illnesses, but they are completely ineffective against viruses. So, if you want to be sure you are using a cleaning product that is effective against bacteria and viruses, always opt for an antimicrobial cleaner and check which viruses it is effective against. Disinfectants need to sit on a surface to be effective in killing germs. Some disinfectants take 10 minutes, while others only about 30 seconds but once the chemical is dry, the surface can become re-contaminated immediately if exposed to a pathogen.

Coronavirus can live on surfaces like paper for approximately 3 hours, cardboard 24 hours, cloth 2 days, stainless steel and some plastics for approximately 2-3 days and glass 4 days. So how can all surfaces remain decontaminated for longer than a few minutes? There are solutions available that can do just this. Some antimicrobial solutions can remain effective for up to 30 days, but you must do your homework when sourcing the right product for you.

Antimicrobial products can be sprayed and wiped in a standard trigger spray bottle but are most effective when delivered by electrostatic spraying or fogging systems for full decontamination. Electrostatic spray guns and fogging machines produce an ultra-fine mist of chemical, ceiling to floor and with a number of specialist chemicals, will deliver positively charged molecules that are attracted to crevices and even the undersides of surfaces and hard to reach areas, ensuring no surface is left untouched. This kind of service should be conducted by specialist teams when areas are vacant. Depending on the chemical used, the molecules can remain active on surfaces for up to 30 days and daily routine cleaning will not remove or disrupt them.

When applied to a surface by spraying. wiping or 'fogging'; these specialist chemicals leave behind a mono-molecular layer that permanently bonds to the surface. These molecules are antimicrobial, silane-based polymers that permanently bond to the surface forming a barrier of positively charged microscopic pins.

The positively charged microscopic pins attract and pierce the negatively charged pathogens. The pins rupture the cell walls. This causes the pathogen to break up with lethal effect. This method of rupturing the cell means the cell cannot mutate, preventing the development of superbugs.

Perfect across all sectors including office, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, transport and education sectors and many more where there is a high footfall of traffic and ongoing high risk of contamination.

If you would like more information about any of the insights discussed in this article please visit our website at www.floorbrite.co.uk/coronavirus/ or email us at info@floorbrite.co.uk