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How to prevent COV-19 & virus transmission in your workplace

With more and more people returning back to the office, it is so important that companies consider their infection control measures to reduce the spread of viruses and harmful bacteria. Obviously the main priority is ensuring staff and customers are safe in the workplace. However, there are also many factors on why companies should also priorities infection control measures too that will benefit the company. For example, an estimated 149.3 million working days were lost due to sickness or injury in 2021

This lost time for a company can be very expensive and add additional pressures that can have detrimental affects on the remaining work force too. Whilst sick leave in unavoidable in a workplace, where infection control is concerned, there are things that companies and organisations can do to reduce the risks. At Aftercare Specialist Cleaning, we are experts in the Infection Control Industry. Therefore, we have put together some top tips that organisations can use to help reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.

1: Hand sanitising stations

Hand sanitising stations. We see them everywhere now since Covid don’t we? These are still a fantastic way to help reduce the spread of germs and really easy and low cost to install and refill. We would recommend placing them around the building, so it makes it easy for staff to use. However, one thing we have noticed as time has gone on after Covid is dirty hand sanitising stations! So a bonus tip is to make sure you or the cleaning team responsible is also making sure that the hand sanitising station is clean and sanitised too! Otherwise, if this station is not kept tidy, it will prevent people from actually using it which will defeat the whole point of having them installed!

2: Rigid cleaning routine

When was the last time you carried out your own audit on your cleaning team? Even if the cleaning team you hire says they carry out their own audits, it is always best to intermittently check yourself to ensure the cleaning is being done properly. Whilst the cost of living means things are getting cut, a great cleaning team is one of the last things you should consider cutting! Did you know 39% of people admitted that they don’t wash their hands after using the toilet at work! (https://smcpremier.co.uk/office-habits-the-dirty-truth/) So even if you cant see rubbish laying around, the bacteria that lurks in the office that the eye cant see is still there! Whilst Aftercare does not provide general cleaning services, we always advise our clients to keep a regular, rigid cleaning routine in their commercial space to reduce the spread of illnesses in the workplace. Why not select a team member to be in charge of monitoring this?

3: Reduce touchpoints

Now this tip might not be the cheapest to implement initially but it is always good to consider where you can upgrade areas and reduce touchpoints. A great example of this would be motion sensor lights, instead f light switches. Especially in places like bathrooms, it is best to install motion lights as this helps reduce the risk of contamination. Implementing things like this is also great for the planet too and may help to save money in the long run by reducing electricity bills!

4: Air ventilation/ filtration systems

When was the last time you had your air conditioning serviced? Air ventilation systems are a brilliant way to help remove air-bourne viruses/ bacteria that could be harmful. Think about it this way. If someone walked into the office smoking a cigarette, besides asking them to leave the room, you would also open windows to get rid of the smell, or you might also try turning up the air ventilation system, especially if weather is bad to help clear the air and get rid of the smoke/ smell of smoke. Well, unlike someone smoking, if someone walks in the Covid-19, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell – or not until it is too late as you can’t technically see Covid-19. Therefore, it is crucial that companies consider the air flow in the office to help reduce air-bourne transmission. So our top tip is to get your air ventilation systems regularly monitored and checked, or keep windows open where possible to increase the airflow in the workspace.

5: Update your RAMS

This is a tip for your health and safety office at work. It is important that you ensure your risk assessment and health and safety documentation considers the risks of transmission in the workplace. Especially in light of Covid-19, all companies should include this on their risk assessments with actions on how they will reduce the risk of transmission to their staff. Every organisation and company has the responsibility to keep their staff safe at work so it is imperative that your safety documentation reflects this.

6: Hire a professional

If your workplace does suddenly get an increase in absences from sickness or you discover a member of staff is contagious with Covid-19 or similar in the workplace our best advice is to get the building fogged and deep cleaned to reduce the risk of transmission to anyone else. This is one of the best ways when considering infection control to make the area safe again. Fogging is when a sanitising mist is sprayed using machine to sanitise the area. This process should not replace normal cleaning routines and must be carried out by a professional who is qualified to carry out this kind of service. Our top tip is to check the company you employ to carry out this service can provide their certifications, insurance documents and chemical COSHH sheets for the products they are using.

We hope you have found our top tips for infection control useful. If you think you may require our infection control services, please get in touch with a member of the team today or call us on 0330 118 1019.