The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about noticeable changes to many things, particularly in how cleanliness is defined. Hand soap, hand sanitiser, and disinfectant wipes become one of the must-haves to combat the virus. As new scientific discoveries are made concerning virus transmission, people continue to adapt their way of life to safeguard their well-being.
As businesses consider how to transition their employees back to the workplace, they become more transparent and proactive in cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising the workplace to create a healthy, virus-free environment for their returning employees.
Understanding the Difference Between Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitising
Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising do not refer to the same thing. Cleaning eliminates dirt, germs and impurities from objects or surfaces with water and soap or detergent. It does not necessarily kill bacteria but helps reduce their numbers and the risk of infection.
On the other hand, disinfecting uses chemicals, such as EPA-registered disinfectants to kill bacteria on surfaces. However, it does not necessarily clean filthy surfaces or eliminates germs. Still, it can reduce the risk of infection. Sanitising, in contrast, reduces the numbers of bacteria on objects and surface to a safe level.
Implementing an Effective Disinfection Strategy
To ensure a clean workplace, businesses and organisations need to implement an effective cleaning and disinfection plan. The first critical step to developing a disinfection plan is to determine what needs to be cleaned. Business owners need to consider the kind of surface and how often the surface is touched. Generally, the more people touch a surface, the higher the risk of infection. Hence, the plan should prioritise cleaning high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, tables, keyboards, toilets, sinks, faucets, phones and elevator buttons.
Secondly, they need to consider the cleaning and disinfection frequency. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommend regular cleaning at least once a day to remove viruses on possible contaminated surfaces. Nevertheless, if certain conditions apply, they may choose to disinfect after cleaning.
Disinfection may also be more frequent depending on certain conditions that may increase the risk of infection from touching the surfaces, including:
- High COVID-19 transmission in the community
- A low number of people wearing a mask
- Unaccustomed hand hygiene
- Space is occupied by specific populations at a higher risk of developing severe diseases due to COVID-19
More frequent cleaning might also be necessary if young kids occupy the space. If someone within the workplace has been tested positive for COVID-19 within the last twenty-four hours, the workplace should be cleaned and disinfected promptly.
Moreover, they should consider the availability of cleaning products and equipment and provide personal protective equipment or PPE for the cleaning staff. Ensure the cleaners are trained on the appropriate use of cleaning and disinfecting products.
If the organisations have no trained cleaning staff or require in-depth cleaning and disinfecting, they can engage with professional office cleaning services Singapore that provide daily office cleaning services.
The Emergence of Antimicrobial Technologies for Foolproof Protection
Beyond ordinary disinfection and cleaning, businesses are beginning to approach a new disinfection method: antimicrobials technology.
The term antimicrobial indicates a function or property of a material that can prevent or kills the growth or actions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. Antimicrobials can target a specific group of microbes, a particular member of the group or may act more broadly.
While current antimicrobial technologies applied in fabrics and surfaces have proved to be long-lasting and effective against combating bacteria, more testing is required to prove its capacity to inhibit or fight viruses, such as the coronavirus. Nevertheless, advancements are continuously being made in antimicrobial technologies and additives, and material manufacturers are constantly assessing new findings and technology.
Whether an organisation chooses to use an antimicrobial coating or not, the most effective way to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection remains to be cleaning and disinfection of all high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas, as well as practice regular handwashing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way people define cleanliness and hygiene. To ensure a healthy and safe working environment for returning employees, employers should develop and implement a feasible cleaning and disinfecting strategy to minimise infection spread in the workplace. If they lack trained and skilled cleaning and disinfecting staff, they can engage with a Singapore professional office cleaner service company. They may also opt for the new antimicrobial technology for long-lasting protection against microbes.