Viruses in the Workplace: Reduce the Risk
- Mar 12, 2020
HandsAs with any virus one of the best methods of controlling the spread of Covid-19 is hand washing often. The Centers for Disease Control recommends:
- Washing hands for 20 seconds with soap that contains an antiseptic and running water.
- Dry hands with paper towels, avoid air blowers if possible.
- If soap and water is unavailable wash hands with hand sanitizer that is 60% or higher in alcohol content.
CleaningViruses, bacteria, parasites and other infectious organisms can live on surfaces for quite some time. Based upon the organism it can be from a few hours to weeks. Information varies, and scientists continue to study Covid-19, but it is currently estimated Covid-19 can survive on surfaces for up to 9 days depending upon environmental conditions.In order to help prevent not just Covid-19, but all viruses and bacteria in the workplace it is vital that both cleaning and disinfecting be implemented. The majority of businesses have only cleaning programs regularly (emptying waste cans, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming) but do not have disinfecting programs in place.To help prevent and mitigate risk from infectious organisms add the following commonly touched areas to your daily disinfecting program:
- Door knobs/handles
- Elevator buttons
- Light switches
- Shared desks/tables
- Common area counters (reception, kitchen, breakroom, bathroom).
- Shared phones
- Steering wheels, car handles, vehicle controls (if shared work vehicle)
- Equipment or tools that are shared
Additional Steps to Reduce RiskTo further assist in maintaining a safe work environment a regularly scheduled general disinfecting program (especially during flu season) is also recommended. This service is typically provided by restoration companies due to the EPA and state licensing needed.If your business does not currently utilize a regularly scheduled disinfecting program then we recommend you start with a “deep clean” (disinfecting all surface areas including furniture) and spraying. Thereafter a regularly scheduled disinfecting program will be far more effective.When choosing a service provider three key questions you want to ask are:
- Is disinfecting solution chemical based or bio-degradable (chemical-based disinfectants can lead to skin irritation, respiratory issues, burning/watering eyes, etc.).
- Ask for a copy of the EPA approved “kill list” for the disinfectant to be used (the EPA paperwork will provide a list of what viruses, pathogens, bacteria and/or parasites the solution has been scientifically tested to destroy).
- Can the restoration company perform work after hours or weekends when employees are not present?
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