Personal and public cleanliness practices, as well as thorough cleaning of work places before workers return from the 21-day Covid-19 lockdown, will help to reduce incidents of illness and absenteeism and support productivity, says industrial cleaning company Industroclean MD Emma Corder.
The workplace is an obvious priority area for organisations that hope to limit the risk of infections. While hazardous and heavy industrial environments clearly have different priorities to the corporate lobby or kitchen areas, both require vigilance and discipline to keep clean and safe.
The starting point for any office hygiene programme is to implement regular, scheduled cleaning of all surfaces and equipment to reduce the accumulation of dust and germs. Daily cleaning should encompass everything from telephones, computers and toilets to the communal fridge and tap handles down to the waste collection and handling areas.
“It pays to be obsessive over workplace hygiene because these tend to be spaces with a high volume of activity and especially vulnerable to the spread of the flu virus and other common ailments, so they require a special level of care to reduce the chance of an infectious virus spreading."
A crucial aspect in the fight against viruses is air quality, which can be achieved through a properly maintained air-filtration system. Building-wide air-conditioning systems can circulate dust and other micro-organisms that can quickly contaminate the entire building.
Workplaces also need to be deep-cleaned regularly. Although there is still uncertainty over how long the coronavirus can survive outside of a host, for organisations, the cleaning of work chairs, carpets and blinds should be focus areas, Corder advises.
“We need to maintain the “cleaning” mentality that we have adopted during this time. Regular maintenance and cleaning of these areas are crucial if organisations hope to keep the work environment free of infections. But the answer lies not only in these large-scale actions that need to be performed regularly. Embedding a hygiene and cleanliness culture within organisations is just as important if the workplace is to remain germ-free," she states.