Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines for Commercial Buildings
As the country begins the long and slow process of reopening, businesses have to be sure that they are taking all precautions necessary. The coronavirus threat is still present, which means faltering now could lead to the second wave of cases in the coming months. So, to help ensure a smoother transition, we want to share some of the best ways to clean and disinfect commercial buildings. Before reopening, you have to understand what to expect and how to adapt to the “new normal.“
Why Following Guidelines Is Crucial
Unfortunately, the rollout of reopening plans has been sporadic, as states have been left to determine the best course of action for themselves. As a result, some areas are moving to reopen faster than others, and the data is unclear which method is best.
However, we at Dallas Janitorial Services believe that an abundance of caution is the ideal strategy during these uncertain times. Overall, it’s much better to ease restrictions than it is to ramp them up. Here are a few of the top reasons why over-preparing is the best way to go.
Avoid Spread of the Disease
Because COVID-19 spreads so quickly and so aggressively between individuals, an outbreak of the virus can occur before anyone knows it happened. We’ve seen countless moments where one or two individuals managed to infect a vast number of people at a single event or location.
So, if you don’t take extra precautions, you could be putting the health and safety of both your employees and your guests at risk. Also, for those who will be coming into contact with large numbers of people, the potential danger is far higher. Not only can an outbreak at your location be devastating to your workforce, but it can also ruin your business’ reputation.
Limit Your Liability
Even without a pandemic spreading through the country, companies are responsible for providing a safe work environment. Currently, employers are not immediately liable if an employee catches the virus while on the job. However, the biggest hurdle there is proving that transmission happened on company property. If an employee (or guest) can provide sufficient evidence of unsafe practices, the employer could be liable. Also, since there are no federal guidelines in place yet, the rules can vary widely between states, counties, and cities.
Overall, it’s far better to be cautious, just in case. Again, even if one cannot provide definitive evidence of transmission while on the job, the perception may be enough to cause problems. Not only that but if one worker gets sick, everyone else has to get tested, which can delay operations even further.
Provide Peace of Mind to Staff and Visitors
Finally, even as businesses reopen, the big question is whether customers will return. Consumer confidence is understandably shaky right now, particularly in areas where close contact is unavoidable. You can offer peace of mind to employees and guests by showing that you’re taking the threat seriously. Also, if other businesses are being more cavalier, you’ll look even better by comparison.
Now that we understand the value of being thorough with your reopening plan, here are the best ways to ensure a clean and healthy environment. These recommendations come from the CDC directly.
Maintain Adequate Ventilation
As more research comes in about the coronavirus, it’s clear that the most effective form of transmission is via air droplets. If an infected person coughs, sneezes, or breathes next to another individual, the virus can spread very quickly.
So, one way to minimize this threat is to have excellent ventilation inside. The CDC recommends using other methods like open doors and windows if you don’t currently have a high-powered HVAC system. Also, fans can help prevent droplets from landing on specific surfaces, such as tables or prep areas.
Wear Gloves and Masks While Cleaning
Although infected surfaces are not as dangerous as air droplets, they can still spread the disease. The virus can live on most objects for several hours, potentially days. So, to ensure that employees don’t contract the disease, it’s best to have them wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while cleaning.
Enforce Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Guidelines
Since air droplets are the primary method of transmission, social distancing is the top-recommended strategy to avoid a spread. Next on the list is to have employees and potential guests wearing masks at all times. Even if patrons balk at the suggestion, forcing workers to wear them can limit their contact with the virus. Considering that an employee is more likely to come into contact with a higher number of people, this strategy is highly effective.
During the reopening phase, it might help to have signs posted to illustrate these guidelines. Attendants may also be necessary to assist those who have trouble following them. Again, over-preparing is better than the alternative, and you can reassess your needs later on.
Focus on High-Traffic Areas and Objects
In many cases, mask-wearing and consistent cleaning schedules aren’t necessary everywhere. For example, if workers are mostly confined to a personal cubicle or office, they don’t have to wear a mask the whole day. Likewise, if an individual is the only one touching objects in that space, it’s unnecessary to clean it obsessively.
Instead, it’s better to focus on areas where social distancing is impossible (i.e., the elevator), as well as high-traffic areas (i.e., public touch screens). By focusing your attention, you can minimize the risks without having to disrupt daily operations too much.
Thankfully, the coronavirus can be killed by most household cleaning solutions. Some examples of these products can include:
- Commercial-Grade Cleaners – Use these in high-traffic areas where cleanliness is a priority, such as a bathroom.
- Bleach-Based Solvents – Don’t use these products on fabric or absorbent materials. Stick to tile and other hard surfaces. Also, avoid them in food-prep areas.
- Alcohol-Based Disinfectants – As long as the concentration is 60-percent or higher, it should work. Best of all, the alcohol evaporates quickly, so these will work on most surfaces.
- Soap and Water – When all else fails, a standard mixture of soap and water will do the trick.
Call Dallas Janitorial Services Today
If you need assistance in keeping your business clean, we’re here to help. We understand the challenges you’ll face along the way, and our team is committed to providing the best results. Reopen the right way with us.