Quick Guide to Implementing New Health and Hygiene Guidelines
We recently released our Safe X Secure White Paper which interprets new health and hygiene best practices and how to implement them across different industries. Now we are diving even further into each vertical and offering additional guidelines and resources to help people find products to keep their business environments clean, healthy and productive.
For workspaces, including offices big and small, you should focus on four health and hygiene essential concepts: Social Distancing, Personal Hygiene, Disinfection / Sanitization and Wellness.
Employees should social distance whenever possible which means avoiding close contact with coworkers.
- Limit the number of people allowed in designated areas and set a limit for smaller in-person group meetings.
- Add space between people with room dividers and partitions, like plastic protection screens and mobile dividers from Ghent. Another option is to incorporate cleanable desk and room dividers – we use products from Lumeah in our own office.
- Floor markings are a good way to encourage and remind employees of distancing. This can easily be achieved by using a high quality and durable vibrantly colored tape, like Duck Brand Duck Tape. You can also create a traffic-flow pattern on the floor with tape.
Everyone in the office should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially during key times (like before eating and after using the restroom) when people are likely to get and spread germs.
- We recommend stocking bathrooms and breakrooms with antimicrobial hand soap as much as possible. We like the convenient wall dispensers and foaming hand soap from Dial.
- Single-use disposable towels are one of the safest options for drying hands. We recommend using a sustainable choice for paper products, like 100% Recycled Folded Paper Towels from Marcal.
- Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol should be offered if soap and water are not immediately available. We also recommend putting hand sanitizer throughout the office to encourage staff to use it often. Dial offers gel and foam hand sanitizers, as well as moisturizing options.
Disinfection / Sanitization
High-traffic work areas like breakrooms, lunchrooms and restrooms should be cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected. Outside of traditional disinfectants, lab tests have shown that visible light disinfection (LVD), which uses non-UV light to significantly reduce pathogens over time, is safe for human contact and can be used continuously. LVD options are available in products like desk and floor lamps, under counter lighting and ceiling fixtures.
Another solution is to employ products that utilize Ultraviolet C (UVC) light, which uses ultraviolet light to kill 99.9% of germs in the air and on surfaces. UVC works quickly (10-60 minutes depending on distance), is used for rapid cleaning, but is not safe for use on skin and eyes. Products using UVC are either standalone sterilization units, containers or handheld wands.
- Cleaning and disinfecting should be frequent (multiple times per day) with an emphasis on frequently touched hard non-porous surfaces.
- Use an EPA-approved disinfectant that meets CDC requirements for use and against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens. Lysol and Zep both offer a variety of cleaning products like disinfectant spray, all-purpose cleaner, antibacterial cleaner and wipes to help with cleaning, disinfection and sanitization.
To prevent illness, employees and customers should implement extra precautions that promote wellness in and around the office.
- Employees and customers should be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like facemasks and gloves in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Employers should require mandatory temperature checks upon arrival. Medline offers contactless thermometers. New technology, such as OneSscreen GoSafe, is also emerging that offers stationary body temperature and facial recognition scanners to enhance health and safety measures. These more robust systems can provide integration with attendance tracking for employees or students. And the facial recognition scanners allow for easy visual detection to determine compliance with mask wearing protocols.
- Air filters in AC units and air purifiers may need to be changed more regularly. The longer a filter is in place, the more dirt, dust and allergens are trapped clogging the filter and decreasing their efficiency. Ideal offers a robust air purifier system removes 99.9% of pathogen viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and air pollutants.
- Encourage everyone to use their own work tools. If sharing is necessary, refer to the disinfection and sanitization rules.
- Provide single-use supplies like paper towels and food service items whenever possible.
If you would like more information about any of our recommended products, email us at [email protected]. Include your name, business name, location(s) and contact information and a Highlands representative will be in touch with you.