Get beyond simply wiping doorknobs and reduce the spread of viruses in a commercial building through proper cleaning prep, education and execution.
Proper cleaning and disinfecting can reduce the risk of people becoming ill by touching a virus-contaminated surface and then infecting themselves by transferring their virus to their nose, mouth or eyes. Viruses can remain viable on surfaces ranging from a few hours to several days, depending on the type of surface and environmental conditions.
This article addresses how to reduce the spread of viruses in a commercial building only. We recommend reviewing CCOHS’ industry-specific tip sheets should specific regulations or cleaning practices apply to your organization.
Here’s what you need to know to keep your staff and customers safe and healthy.
Provide the right supplies
Properly prep garbage cans
Everything that is dirty or contaminated winds up in the garbage, but there are several precautions that can reduce the risks for both cleaning staff and bin users. If possible, replace garbage bins with no-touch or foot-activated models or remove the lids all together. Ensure garbage receptacles are lined with bags for easy and safe disposal of contaminated waste.
Provide personal cleaning supplies
Businesses are used to providing staff with personal protective equipment, but are you also providing the necessary cleaning supplies? Supplying alcohol or disinfectant wipes so workers can clean their workspaces and any shared electronics or tools helps break the chain of transmission.
Also ensuring washrooms are stocked with soap and paper towels, along with providing hand sanitizer at key points helps everyone maintain hand hygiene.
Train and educate
Cleaning is only part of a proper health and safety program and requires ongoing training and education to reduce the spread of viruses in a commercial building. All staff should be trained on how to properly use personal protective equipment, your cleaning and disinfection procedures, and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) so they understand the hazardous products present in your workplace.
Develop (and stick to) your cleaning and disinfecting program
Focus on high-touch surfaces
Kitchens, washrooms, break rooms and vehicles should be cleaned daily, while high-traffic areas and contact surfaces like light switches, door handles, elevator buttons, counters and shared electronics may need to be wiped down every 2 to 3 hours.
Create a cleaning and disinfecting schedule and ensure checklists are easily accessible for completion and review.
Have a cleaning plan for when someone does get sick
If an ill person has been in your building within the last 24 hours, you should clean the spaces they were in, thoroughly disinfecting any surfaces or objects they may have come into contact with.
First, close off the area and wait as long as possible prior to cleaning. When cleaning, increase air circulation to the area and use an approved disinfectant, proven to be effective against viruses. Cleaning staff should wear a mask and gloves and wash hands after disposing of their PPE.
Similar, but not the same
To effectively reduce the spread of viruses in a commercial building, it’s important to know the difference between cleaners and disinfectants. Cleaners (i.e. cleaning with a detergent and water) removes visible dirt and germs, thereby reducing their numbers, while chemical disinfectant actively kills germs on surfaces. It’s most effective to remove as much contaminant as possible by cleaning, before disinfecting.
The importance of the Drug Identification Number
A Drug Identification Number is an 8-digit number issued by Health Canada that confirms the disinfectant product is approved and safe for use. It’s best to choose a hard surface disinfectant from the government’s list of products shown to be effective against COVID-19.
Many cleaning products have to be in contact with the surface for a specific time in order to be effective. Wipe the surface so that it is damp and allow it to air dry or wipe down after the recommended contact time.
Running an administrative office or residential condo building is a lot of work. Let Grandmother’s Touch help keep your property safe, hygienic, and welcoming. We offer a wide variety of convenient commercial cleaning, maintenance, and restoration services to ensure that your building is always sparkling clean. Whether you need a one-time emergency service or weekly routine commercial office cleaning in Toronto, our team is committed to providing our clients friendly, detail-oriented service. Contact us for a quote today.