If you’re responsible for the safe reopening of your workplace during COVID-19, then you probably feel intimidated by all that is on your plate. Planning the reopening in a way that is safe for both your employees as well as your customers makes this task a high priority.
You need to ensure that all safety and prevention measures recommended by the national and international guidelines are followed. More importantly, you need to ensure the cleanliness of your workplace at all times to prevent the transmission of the virus.
The chances of the spread of virus increase once people come out of their homes. Your employees will be regularly going through public transport, coming in contact with other people, and then showing up at work. Therefore, you need to take measures that keep your staff safe from being exposed to unhealthy situations.
You’ll have to implement the use of masks in indoor spaces, frequent washing of hands, and minimum contact with shared appliances. You’ll have to train your staff in safety procedures, so they can also take responsibility. The workplace cleaning procedure needs to run more frequently, and cleaners should use PPEs while disinfecting high-risk objects and spaces.
If you’re confused about workplace safety guidelines, then we’re here to make it easier for you. We are an office design company in the UK, helping workplaces reopen safely. Check out the thoroughly-explained cleaning measures for your workplace below:
1. Develop Your Cleaning Plan
First, you need to evaluate your workplace with the risk assessment template to determine whether it’s low, medium, or high risk. Then, overview what kind of materials and surfaces are part of the space. The more material and appliances are in the workplace, the more rigorous would the cleaning procedures need to be. Therefore, eliminate all the things that aren’t essential for your daily operations to reduce the burden.
You also need to evaluate the design of all the workstations in your office. Is there enough distance between them? Can you implement the social distancing measures with the current design? Depending on the answers, you may have to rearrange a few things to ensure a safe distance. If the workplace is too crammed up, you might need the help of an office design company to make the arrangements for you.
The other option is arranging sneeze guard glass for those employees that might have to work in close proximity from each other.
Most importantly, your plan must include a detailed account of cleaning and disinfecting procedures, the frequency of their implementation, and the safety of persons responsible for it. The cleaning schedule needs to flexible and should be able to adjust to the evolving local and national safety guidelines.
2. How To Clean And Disinfect?
For most objects and surfaces, the routine cleaning would suffice. However, you’ll have to ensure extra cleaning and disinfection of objects that are frequently used or touched by multiple people, such as doorknobs, light switches, etc. Consider following the cleaning method given below for high-risk objects:
- The first step involves cleaning the frequently touched object or surface with soap and clean water.
- Then you need to disinfect the surface using an HSE-approved disinfectant.
- If you don’t have access to an approved disinfectant, then consider using the solution made out of a gallon of water mixed with 1/3. Alternatively, you can also use solutions with 70% alcohol content for disinfection.For further information, check out the government guidelines on disinfection.
Consider moving or getting rid of all items that aren’t essential to reduce the number of items that require daily cleaning and disinfection. Clothing and other soft objects, like carpets and couches, should also be removed, if possible, to minimize the challenges of cleaning.
3. Determine What Needs Cleaning
Objects and surfaces that aren’t touched or frequently used just need to be cleaned with soap and water regularly. You don’t typically need to apply disinfectants to such objects.
To determine whether simple cleaning would be enough for a surface, you’ll have to consider the following factors:
Is Your Workplace Set In The Outdoors?
Outdoor spaces usually just require regular cleaning procedures,and there’s no need for disinfection.The use of disinfectants in outdoors like parks and pavements hasn’t proven to have minimized the risk of virus transmission. Therefore, regular hygiene and cleaning practices should do for outdoor places.
If you run an outdoor restaurant or a bar, there may be additional safety procedures that you’ll have to follow. But as far as cleaning the space is concerned, frequent cleaning would be enough.
Was Your Workplace Unoccupied For The Past Seven Days Or Longer?
If your workplace was closed or unoccupied for the past seven days or more, then there won’t be any need for disinfection. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t survive on surfaces for these many days. Therefore, you should just run your regular cleaning procedures.
To ensure safety during operations, maintain these cleaning measures. Additionally, make sure you do the regular maintenance procedures like ensuring the functioning of the ventilation system to circulate the air.
4. Determine what needs disinfecting
All workplaces have objects and surfaces that are frequently touched and used by multiple workers or clients. These are the objects that will require proper disinfection regularly. You need to ensure that the disinfectant in HSE-approved, or contains at least 60% to 70% alcohol content.
Few examples of the objects that require frequent disinfection include the following:
- Sinks and faucets
- Touch screens
- ATM machines
- gas pump handles
- Keyboards and other accessories
If you’re unsure about the safety of your workplace, you can receive professional help. Contact us today at Spectrum Interiors for an office refurbishment or rearrangement that ensures the maximum safety of your employees.
Bryony Shaw is the marketing executive at Spectrum Interior, a leading office fit out companies offering office fit out and office refurbishment service in the UK. Her aim in life is to transform as many interior environments as possible into highly beautiful and functional spaces and make all incumbent dysfunctional eyesores a thing of the past. Synchronising the marketing, sales, purchasing and project management teams, she likes to listen to the needs concerning absolutely any interior.