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How to clean and disinfect your workplace COVID-19

hand disinfection September 06, 2021

2021 was set to be a better year but unfortunately, COVID-19 and its rampant Delta variant have resulted in mass outbreaks, particularly for the eastern states of Australia. The Delta variant is twice as contagious as the previous variants, and as we have seen in NSW, it spreads quickly.

Although 19,000,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Australia, there still isn’t enough information to know how long protection will last. And as Healthy WA says, “No vaccines offer total immunity.”

We’ve become accustomed to COVID-19 and the “new normal”, and as the vaccine rolls out, employers have relaxed their cleaning practices. But recent outbreaks are a stark reminder of our responsibility to protect our workplace through proper contamination cleaning.

What to clean in your workplace for COVID-19

Your covid cleaning practices will depend on your workplace and what you touch on a day-to-day basis. For non-healthcare workplaces, The Australian Government’s Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Principles for COVID-19 [2] have divided routine cleaning into two groups:

Frequently touched surfaces: Door handles, bedrails, tabletops and light switches. Minimally touched surfaces: Floors, ceilings, walls and blinds.

As COVID-19 bacteria survive on surfaces from a few hours to several days, frequently touched services should be cleaned at least once daily. Depending on whether you’ve been near an outbreak, disinfection should also happen at least once daily too.

If there’s a spill or visible dirt present on a surface, you should clean it immediately. Minimally touched surfaces should be cleaned weekly. It’s also advised that you change window curtains and clean sinks and basins regularly.

General cleaning vs. disinfecting your workplace

If your workplace isn’t near contamination, daily cleaning with detergent should be sufficient. But if you’re near a contamination site or there’s been a suspected case in your workplace, a disinfection clean is required to kill Covid bacteria.

What’s the difference between a general clean and a disinfectant clean? General cleaning usually involves the removal of dirt and germs with detergent and a water solution. Disinfectant cleaning uses chemicals to bacteria.

These includes:

  • 70% ethyl alcohol to disinfect small areas such as reusable dedicated equipment (for example, thermometers);
  • Sodium hypochlorite at 0.1% (1000 ppm) for disinfecting surfaces;
  • And for areas where fecal contact has occurred, commercially available quaternary ammonium compounds, such as cetylpyridinium chloride, used according to manufacturer’s instructions, and peracetic or peroxyacetic acid at concentrations of 500−2000 mg/L. [1]

How to disinfect your workplace for COVID-19

Clean with detergent first Surfaces must be cleaned with detergent before being disinfected. COVID-19 droplets may not be killed by disinfectant alone.

Practice safety
Protect yourself from harsh chemicals. Wear gloves and eyewear when preparing disinfectant solutions, such as bleach. Remain in open-air environments.

Use disposable wipes, gloves and masks
After cleaning, dispose of wipes, gloves and masks in a plastic bag (double bagging) to reduce contamination.

Healthcare workplaces
Special cleaning is required in healthcare workplaces. Disinfection cleaning should be conducted daily and between each occurrence of patient care.

Kleenit specialises in decontamination cleaning. We’re still providing covid cleaning services in workplaces around Australia. We also provide a covid cleaning certification on completion. Get in touch to book your deep clean.

 

[1] World Health Organisation, Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus, 23 April 2020,
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331846/WHO-2019-nCoV-IPC_WASH-2020.3-eng.pdf Retrieved 21 January 2021
[2] Australian Government, Environmental cleaning and disinfection principles for COVID-19
https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/environmental-cleaning-and-disinfection-principlesfor-covid-19.pdf

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