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How To Re-open Your Workplace after COVID-19

Global epidemic of covid-19 and disinfection of office for return to work of workers. People in hazmat suits cleaning furniture in interior

What type of cleaning services do you need to safely reopen your workplace for employees?

Misinformation can spread even faster than a virus. It’s fair to say that misuse, or a simple lack of understanding, of cleaning industry terminology by official bodies has created considerable confusion for many customers seeking professional cleaning services.

As one of Cambridge’s most established cleaning providers, at Atkins Gregory we wanted to help you understand what you need from your cleaning provider in order to safely reopen your workplace your employees, and provide some clarity around some of our industry’s most important terminology.

What is Cleaning? Removing soiling, both visible and invisible, from a surface. This process prepares a surface for disinfecting.

What is Sanitising? Less aggressive than disinfection, sanitising reduces the level of bacteria and germs to a level considered safe. NB: A safe sanitation level is yet to be established for COVID-19, therefore disinfection is required for areas or surfaces affected by the Coronavirus.

What is Disinfecting? Removing bacteria and germs, except bacterial spores, from a surface, object or area.

In the current situation many workplaces, in particular non-healthcare facilities or those not occupied by high-risk citizens, require an increased frequency of cleaning, with the potential addition of disinfecting.

Government Guidance for Getting Back to Work in a Clean and Safe Environment

On May 11th, the government launched five steps to get UK workers back to work.

Step Five is “Reinforcing cleaning processes.” This new guidance includes more frequent cleaning of workplaces, installing of hand washing or sanitising facilities, and taking extra care in the cleaning of high-contact areas such as door handles and IT equipment.

The government consulted 250 industry leaders and stakeholders in developing the new ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines. Further guidelines regarding the cleaning of workplaces include:

  • An assessment should be conducted prior to the reopening of any workplace that has been either closed or partially operated to determine the cleaning and hygiene procedures necessary to restart working in the facility. This should includes the provision of required levels of hand sanitiser.
  • Frequent cleaning should be undertaken between uses to ensure the clean condition of the workplace is maintained, including regularly touched surfaces, to prevent transmission and additional disposal arrangements should be put in place if necessary.
  • Educate about, encourage and enable good hygiene. These steps include installing additional hand sanitising points beyond those in washrooms, educating about effective hand-washing techniques, increasing waste facilities and collections, ensuring hand drying facilities are sanitary, whether electric or paper towels, and following social distancing rules in washroom facilities.
  • If you have changing rooms or showers on your premises, these facilities should be thoroughly cleaned regularly throughout the day, in addition to at the end of every day.

Read the full government advice here.

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