The COVID-19 challenge faced by janitorial and facility cleaning managers
There is an increasing “nod” to hand hygiene as offices and public buildings reopen and get up to speed, with the increased presence of hand sanitising stations in entrances and other busy areas. Gels are all very well, but for really effective hand hygiene, the focus should be on the provision of a more effective hand washing method – involving soap and water.
An interesting report was recently published on the CleanLink website in the USA, in which author Dave Lubach referred to a national debate regarding “the benefit of masks in the COVID-19 age” – and in particular an interview with an emergency room doctor, which reportedly caught the attention of Jim Mann, the executive director of the Handwashing Leadership Forum.
“The doctor’s response in the interview should pique the interest of janitorial and cleaning managers in commercial and healthcare facilities, school districts and universities across the country.”
“He didn’t even mention masks and he’s a doctor in a high-risk situation. There’s more control than people think with handwashing.”
Of course people should wear masks, and pay attention to social distancing wrote Lubach. But they must not neglect hand hygiene, with cleaning managers being advised to “treat handwashing as equally important.”
Soap and water washing stations – draw attention to them and position them where they’re needed.
Hand washing rather than the use of gels is advocated by the author of Infection Prevention for Dummies, Darrel Hicks, according to the article. “Wash your hands” is his clear message.
“People say, ‘We’re out of sanitizer, what are we going to do?’ I say, wash your hands, and do it for 20 seconds.”
So as building reopen, and facility cleaning managers and janitors focus on making buildings in their care COVID-safe, they should be positioning hand washing facilities where they will be most effective – near the entrance, near office entrances and in busier corridors. And visitors and workers should have regular visual reminder to keep washing says the article.
This is perhaps best summed up by Brian Sansoni, senior vice president of the American Cleaning Institute, who is quoted as saying
“Depending on the type of business you have, or the office building or workplace layout, consider having handwashing stations available… throughout your facility.”
The image (above and below) shows a Teal Mediwash portable handwash unit placed at the entrance to a large public building.
It can be plugged into any mains electrical socket and does not need an independent water supply. The video screen provides the all-important “nudge” to encourage hand washing – then ensures that it takes place properly and for the correct amount of time.
Portable handwash units – make the workplace safer by locating them wherever they’re needed
Teal produces an incredible range of mobile sinks and portable basins for every type of hand washing situation for use by anyone who needs to wash their hands effectively, whether they’re in an office environment, temporary accommodation or out in the field on a daily basis.
Optional paper towel holders and soap holders are available for units across the range.
There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks for use with pre-heated hot water.