Getting Your Workplace Ready After COVID-19

Date Posted:26 August 2021 

Dealing with the challenges of starting and running a business during a pandemic can be challenging since the health and safety of our employees and customers are at stake. We all want to make a profit while keeping our employees and customers safe. Public health agencies at the local, state, and federal levels have provided guidelines that address practically every scenario. All of these require cleaning and disinfecting the workplace, as well as frequent hand washing (often known as "hand hygiene").

Cleaning surfaces with hot, soapy water minimizes the amount of virus on them. Cleaning on a regular basis will help to lower the danger of illness.

Further cleaning of high-contact surfaces, such as doorknobs, switches, and worktops, with EPA-approved cleaning products, minimizes the risk of infection even further. Use self-opening doors and impose controls to prevent contact with counters if possible to eliminate high contact zones.

Sanitizing treatments are not required on outdoor surfaces such as sidewalks. Washing with soapy water on a regular basis is sufficient. Sanitizing the railings is necessary.

Surfaces to Sanitize

Here are a few surfaces that get touched a lot and need to be sanitized on a regular basis (this isn't an exhaustive list; there are plenty more):

  • Tables
  • Doorknobs
  • Keyboards
  • Toilets
  • Light switches
  • Countertops
  • Handles
  • Desks
  • Phones
  • Faucets and sinks
  • Gas pump handles
  • Touchscreens
  • ATM machines

Cleaning should be done on a daily basis or once each shift. Sanitizing high-contact areas should be done more frequently, depending on the occupancy. Providing a sanitizing spray (aerosol) in restrooms and asking each person who uses the restroom to spray all surfaces touched as they exit the facility is a realistic method. Large public restrooms will necessitate ongoing janitorial services.

How to Choose a Cleaning Agent

One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of illness is to wash your hands. Washing for at least 20 seconds with soapy water is particularly effective. While at work, employees should wash their hands at least every two hours. If this isn't possible, use an alcohol-based sanitizer on a regular basis.

When choosing a sanitizing product, consider its effectiveness and safety. There are numerous products available, but you should start with the EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The most effective products fall into three categories:

  1. Bleach (sodium hypochlorite)-containing products usually have the shortest contact duration. Because they are exceedingly irritating to the skin, gloves must be used when handling them. They must be maintained away from acid-containing goods.
  2. Products containing more than 65 percent alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl alcohol) are effective. A second ingredient, like hydrogen peroxide, is frequently used in such formulations to boost efficiency. Alcoholic beverages are combustible and must be handled with caution. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are the most common. They might also have glycol in them to help with skin irritation. Some fires have been linked to bigger quantities than those found in a personal sanitizer bottle.
  3. Quaternary amines or quats-containing products are effective but require longer contact durations. They are usually non-flammable and less damaging to the skin.

When using sanitizing agents, get a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), verify the chemical composition, and go over the safety information at the very least.


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