The Prime Minister is encouraging those working remotely to return to work in an effort to do their bit for the economy. This news has no doubt led to office and facilities managers thinking about ways to make their buildings are safe for people to come back. But, with the government guidance spanning 38 pages and covering a variety of elements, it can be hard to know where to start to ensure compliance and safety. While the likes of Apple, Google and Goldman Sachs have reopened their doors to employees, many businesses are finding it more difficult.
That’s why Rentokil Specialist Hygiene has created our HATS critical appraisal survey as we work to help customers get ‘back to business safely’. When our experts survey premises to assess risks and implement solutions to ensure safety and compliance, we focus on four key areas Hygiene Factors, Atmosphere, Touch, Social Distancing (HATS).
The cleanliness of a facility limits potential transmission routes for Coronavirus and other microbial infectious diseases and pathogens. There are typically multiple potential hygiene hotspots in business premises and we work with customers to identify these and minimise the risk of cross contamination, and the spread of bacteria and viruses.
High footfall areas and those with many shared touchpoints such as kitchens, canteens, lobbies, and washrooms will require more attention than others, so a detailed assessment of an entire facility is undertaken looking at:
Following this assessment, our expert consultants will outline the necessary cleaning processes and frequencies as well as allowing for specialist deep cleans at regular intervals, which may include an All-Purpose Disinfection Service that uses a range of innovative disinfection application methods to ensure the area is treated as quickly and effectively as possible. These solutions would also ensure a thorough disinfection of high-frequency touchpoints and move all furniture or equipment away from the walls to get areas missed during standard cleaning processes. The frequency of deep cleans varies depending on the nature of the facility, its hours of operation and size, but most facilities should be deep cleaned at least twice a year.
Coronavirus can be transmitted by respiratory droplets – expelled when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Therefore, air quality and ventilation are vital considerations for FMs. UK.GOV suggests that after a single air change (a measure of how many times the air within a defined space is replaced) is estimated to remove 63% of airborne contaminants. After five air changes, less than 1% of airborne contamination is thought to remain.
Most facilities rely on air conditioning units or ventilation systems to maintain air quality – these must be regularly cleaned and serviced to ensure they are operating effectively. Not having a good air quality system in place can contribute to further transmission of infections between the facility’s users. We use technology within our ENVIROPure+ Service to monitor air quality as well as measuring building temperatures, humidity and airborne dust particles in order to make recommendations on any improvements that could be made.
ENVIROPure+ Service units are designed with a HEPA filter to tackle bacterial and fungal matter in indoor areas, as well as an activated carbon filter to help tackle volatile organic chemicals within indoor areas. The unit provides a colour indication, to show instant insight into the quality of air around the unit.
Coronavirus and other pathogens are capable of surviving on a range of surfaces. It’s vital to identify high frequency touchpoints in the hygiene assessment and ensure appropriate cleaning processes are established.
On top of regular cleaning, facility managers should promote good hand hygiene and minimise cross contamination by providing antibacterial wipes, surface disinfectants or hand sanitisers near these key touchpoints.
Social distancing is still an important part of the Coronavirus prevention strategy. Traffic analysis of the facility is analysed to inform the cleaning regime, and social distancing strategy. Facility managers need to identify common thoroughfares, peak times, bottlenecks and where people are likely to congregate, so they can introduce reminders to users to practice social distancing.
There are many tools to help ensure safe distancing. Signage, retractable barriers and protective screens are common solutions, but they may not always suit the facility’s aesthetic. Floor mats are more subtle and can be designed with social distancing reminders. These have the added benefit of preventing the spread of mud, water and grit from being tracked throughout the building.
Making a facility safe for workers to return can be daunting for businesses – the guidance can be complex and is constantly changing. But we are here to help. We provide a unique combination of consultative knowledge and hygiene services, which are designed to protect building users by keeping premises hygienically clean as well as supporting social distancing to ensure the safety of all those using the facility as well as compliance with relevant guidance. To learn more or book a hygiene assessment, don’t hesitate to get in touch.