As California continues to reopen, businesses must adhere to safeguards issued by the state and their respective county.
In addition to state and county guidelines, employers should also adhere to recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure that they are doing all they can to protect their employees and customers.
Here are 3 steps employers can take to prepare for a safe reopening:
1. Promote Respiratory Etiquette and Hand Hygiene
Provide your employees and customers with the resources they need to keep themselves and others safe. Even the smallest acts, like placing posters and providing hand sanitizer throughout the workplace, will have a major impact on the health of your business.
- Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles.
- Provide soap and water in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained.
- Place hand sanitizers in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene.
- Place posters that encourage hand hygiene to help stop the spread at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen
- Discourage handshaking – encourage the use of other non-contact methods of greeting
- Direct employees to visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information
2. Perform Routine Cleaning and Disinfection
Even with the resources available, not everyone will adhere to the rules. To have some control over the cleanliness of your facility, routine environmental cleaning and disinfection are highly recommended.
The CDC and OSHA outline the following guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting to protect employees, customers and worksite visitors:
- Routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails and doorknobs.
- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products
- Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, other work tools and equipment) can be wiped down by employees before each use. To disinfect, use products that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface
3. Consider Professional Disinfecting Services
How you handle your facility’s cleaning protocols is up to you. You can either pay for these services, hold your staff responsible, or a combination of both.
Unless you are a medical facility, your existing service schedules are most likely not sufficient to handle our current circumstances. Enhanced disinfection services are necessary.
Disinfection of high touch surfaces found in offices and commercial businesses must be performed daily now to prevent the spread of possible infection. Review your service schedules with your provider and make updates where necessary.
There are clear advantages to having professionals perform routine disinfection:
- Professionals have access to the disinfectants recommended by the EPA
- Professionals are trained on the proper use of disinfectants and equipment to prevent cross contamination
- Professionals have infection prevention protocols in place
- Professionals can offer disinfecting services targeted at killing viruses like COVID-19
A cost effective method of disinfection that we highly recommend is electrostatic disinfection. It is much quicker than standard wiping and even more effective because it ensures 360-degree coverage. It works as both a preventative and reactive measure against the Novel Coronavirus.
Starting Friday a select group of California businesses will be allowed to reopen. Even if your business isn’t on the list, it is never too early to prepare.
- Promote respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.
- Perform routine cleaning and disinfection.
- Consider professional disinfecting services.
Ensure that you have the resources outlined by the CDC and that your cleaning and disinfecting protocols are in order before employees are invited back to work.