Tips for Proper Disinfection of Pathogens like COVID-19

Categories: Safety, Employees, Janitorial, Coronavirus, PUREClean, Facilities Maintenance

Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce the spread of germs has become critical for occupants that want a safe and healthy facility during COVID-19.
As you welcome employees back to work, it is crucial to follow health guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. You should reopen responsibly with disinfection processes designed to remove coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

Flagship’s PUREClean service system can help you reopen responsibly by coordinating and maintaining processes to help employees feel safe inside your walls.

These are tips for the process of cleaning and disinfecting and may update or change as new information becomes available. These promising practices were inspired by directions from facilities experts, government, health experts, and the World Health Organization.

As you embrace the new definition of clean, it is important to start establishing everyday preventive actions within your facility and for your staff. Check out our Stay Open Responsibly for additional advice and process techniques for reopening your facility to employees and the public.

Tidy Up and Clear the Surfaces of Clutter

First, you will need to prepare for disinfection by picking up and removing any clutter from the area.

Disinfectants will decontaminate whatever they land on, so if something is in the way, that item is what will be disinfected, not anything under it.

Example: Mail packages are placed on a commonly used table. When disinfection occurs, if the packages were not removed, the mail is what is disinfected, not the commonly used surface below it.

Institute a clean workspace policy so employees do not leave personal items or work files on surfaces that will need to be disinfected. This allows cleaning personnel direct access to the surfaces and better saturation of the solvents.

After the surfaces are clear, wipe away any visible dust and debris. Then remove all trash and vacuum the area using a HEPA-filtered vacuum. This will remove most of the minuscule particles from the surfaces so the disinfectant can do its job better.

Clutter removal, cleaning, and facility surface disinfection should occur daily. High-touchpoint disinfection, discussed below, should occur consistently throughout the day.

Strategically Clean Throughout the Facility

Let gravity help you achieve better results. Start the cleaning and disinfecting process at the highest point and work your way down.

Pro Tip: Consider a one-step disinfectant cleaner versus a disinfectant that requires a pre-cleaning step.

Then move throughout the facility by working on the cleanest areas first and then going to the dirtiest. This helps prevent germs from spreading from room to room.

Example: Restrooms should always be cleaned last because of the number of germs they can contain. Here are some tips on how to improve restroom cleanliness.

Another way to reduce cross-contamination is to use color-coded microfiber cloths and matching containers for certain disinfectants and rooms. If you use one color on workspaces and desks, the germs in those areas won’t be able to contaminate the kitchen area where food is prepared because you will be using a different cloth and container.

Occupancy Should Be Low

A full facility cleaning and disinfection should take place during hours when as few people as possible are in the areas that need to be disinfected.

The disinfected surfaces will need to remain visibly wet with the disinfectant solution for the contact time that is listed on that product’s label. If employees are still moving about the building, there is a high probability that the saturation time will be disturbed and therefore will reduce the efficacy of the solvent.

You may also have individuals that have high sensitivities to chemicals and may find it hard to work when disinfectants are being applied around them.

Repeat High-Touchpoint Disinfection During Operating Hours

A full facility cleaning and disinfection should take place during hours when as few people as possible are in the areas that need to be disinfected.

The COVID-19 coronavirus and other germs are spread by individuals. A facility is only completely disinfected until the germs of infected individuals enter the building.

Identify all high-touchpoint areas (door handles, elevator buttons, keypads, kitchen appliances, etc.) and have those frequently touched areas disinfected multiple times each day. Use a rotating schedule to ensure each area is disinfected routinely, and especially during and after peak touch times.

Example: Entry doors, elevators, and security entry keypads tend to be used most when employees arrive, during the lunch hour, and when employees leave in the evening.

Finally, make sure you use the right products for different surfaces and to combat the germs you’re after. Use the EPA List of Disinfectants for use Against COVID-19 to find products that have been proven by the EPA to fight the coronavirus pathogen.

We recognize that these are challenging times and that policies and procedures will change. Our PUREClean service program provides a four-pronged approach that will help you protect employees in their workplace now and into the future.

Email a facilities expert today and get the help you need.