Increasing the frequency of cleaning is an essential part of a business demonstrating they are a Covid secure workplace. However, what this means in practical terms will vary across business sector, setting, workplace and work activity.
Identify frequently touched surfaces
Your updated Covid risk assessment will have identified frequently touched surfaces, those which may be high virus transmission points. Cleaning the workplace during Covid should start with, and prioritise, these surfaces.
For most workplaces these will typically include some or all of:
- door and window handles
- machine control panels and switches
- computers and accessories – keyboards, mice, printers, monitors
- welfare amenities – water coolers, kettles, fridges, cupboards, microwave
- toilet facilities – door handles, locks, flush, taps
- vehicles – keys, controls, doors, seat belts, steering wheel
- post and deliveries – both outgoing and incoming
Depending on your workplace and the nature of your work, some of these surfaces may be used and touched by multiple workers and some may only be used by one individual. Cleaning the workplace during Covid should prioritise shared surfaces and then focus on all frequently touched surfaces.
How often do I need to clean during Covid?
Your cleaning schedule is likely to fall into two categories – deep cleaning and periodic cleaning. You should ideally ensure a deep clean of all surfaces once a day with periodic cleaning throughout the day. For some surfaces, this may be immediately after they have been touched.
Reduce surface contact
In updating your cleaning schedule don’t forget about the importance of reducing the need to clean. Workers should, wherever possible, continue to work from home if they can. Assess your frequently touched surfacecs and consider changing their use. For example, doors (excluding fire doors) can be wedged open, taps could be changed to sensor triggered taps, non essential equipment and machines could be temporarily stored away.
Do cleaning staff require additional PPE?
Whether your cleaning staff are internal employees or a contracted cleaning service, the HSE are very clear that they do not require additional PPE. What is critical is that cleaning staff maintain social distancing and are fastidious in hand washing before and after cleaning duties.
Need further advice?
If you require any further advice, need an updated Risk Assessment or have any questions please do get in touch.
Important note: the advice in this article relates to non-healthcare settings only.