7 tips to help prevent cross-infection in your commercial premises
Talking about good hygiene habits has become more popular than ever, given the global pandemic that the world is facing. But these practices were always essential to prevent cross-infection anywhere, especially in a commercial building where the volume of people is high. And since we all have a part to play, employers should be the ones to assess the risk of exposure to infections and decide what measures are needed to reduce the risks.
To help with this decision, we prepared a few tips on the subject, explaining what your business should consider in order to have a healthy and safe workplace.
1. Provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
Common areas should have alcohol gel within easy reach for all. Additionally, masks should be provided, and all employees should be trained on the importance of wearing them properly - yes, this subject has been discussed at large lately, however, as an employer, it’s all about minimising the risks.
2. Encourage people to wash their hands
Whilst it’s up to each individual to wash their hands frequently, you have a part to play. It’s about communicating - and, why not, setting the example. Have signs reminding people to wash their hands as this can encourage this practice.
3. Have a routine of cleaning and disinfection
Cleaning and disinfecting the office regularly is another important step to fight contamination. As well as dust, germs can spread easily in a closed environment. Sometimes, germs can survive on a surface for days, that’s why a fogging technique is recommended for a thorough clean. On a day-to-day basis, cleaning with specific products designed to kill microorganisms is enough.
4. Sharing is (not) caring
At least, not during a pandemic! Avoid sharing common office equipment - such as keyboards, phones and printers. If they need to be shared, make sure they’ve been disinfected after each use. Having alcohol gel or cleaning products nearby in common areas is also recommended. Glasses, cutlery and dishes shouldn’t be shared under any circumstances.
5. Practice social distancing
Whilst the majority of workers are able to work from home, sometimes that’s just not possible. Whilst in the office, employees should keep a safe distance from each other. Avoid meetings face-to-face, giving preference to online meetings.
6. Pay extra attention to carpets and upholstery
Because these surfaces retain microorganisms, it’s important to have a regular schedule for them to be cleaned. Hoovering carpets, sofas and other areas frequently is a good practice to be followed not only during COVID but at all times. It helps to avoid allergies, for example. A professional company is recommended for deeper cleaning from time to time.
7. Implement a colour-coded cleaning system
If you have a commercial cleaning service provider, make sure they use a colour-coded cleaning cloth system. This way, cleaning cloths used in toilets, for example, won’t be used anywhere else. You can also implement this system yourself, using, for example, red or orange cloths for high-risk areas, yellow for medium risk areas and blue for general cleaning such as dusting. This can help reduce the risk of cross-contamination between areas.