The general sanitization of our facilities is related to the distribution and use of products that are used to maintain personal cleanliness, workspace sanitization and to safeguard one from the contagious diseases. The factors that were fueling the growth of the market before pandemic of COVID-19 include the recent improvement in standards of living coupled with the growth in public attention towards overall health globally.
However, with the outbreak of COVID-19 since January 2020, the demand for hygiene products and sanitization solutions has grown with an exemplary growth rate. The COVID-19 virus was novel and hence the government organizations across the globe published guidelines to maintain hygiene with the use of sanitizer and soaps more often which created a wide gap between promise, implementation and execution of sanitization guidelines.
The CDC (Central for Control Disease) just released an update guideline to Cleaning and Disinfecting Facilities.
Here\’s a brief highlight of their recommendations:
- Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect.
- Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
- Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
- Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
- Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant
- Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.
- Ensure safe and effective use of sanitization products:
- Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
- Ensure adequate ventilation
- Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
- Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
- Avoid mixing chemical products
- Label diluted cleaning solutions
- Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets
- Cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sick
- Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
- Companies do not necessarily need to close operations, if they can close off affected areas.
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
- Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
- Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.
- Vacuum the space if needed. Use vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filter, if available.
- Do not vacuum a room or space that has people in it. Wait until the room or space is empty to vacuum, such as at night, for common spaces, or during the day for private rooms.
- Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.
- Once area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use.
- Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.
- If more than 7 days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary.
- Continue routing cleaning and disinfection. This includes everyday practices that businesses and communities normally use to maintain a healthy environment.
Additional considerations for employers
Educate workers performing cleaning, laundry, and trash pick-up to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.
Provide instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms within 14 days after their last possible exposure to the virus.
Develop policies for worker protection and provide training to all cleaning staff on site prior to providing cleaning tasks.
Training should include when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary, how to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
Ensure workers are trained on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).
Comply with OSHA’s standards on Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030), including proper disposal of regulated waste, and PPE (29 CFR 1910.132).
6 Steps for Safe and Effective Disinfectant Use.
Last, the EPA released a graphical 6-steps approach which we found interesting to share with our employees.