For the first time in months, some restaurants, shops and hairdressers are reopening their doors. Lockdowns are easing in parts of the world. However, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have a significant impact on businesses and serious implications for people’s health and wellbeing.
The safety of employees should be the top priority for any business looking to re-open. While most organisations already have policies in place that support and protect their staff, the pandemic has ensured these are rewritten, underlined, circled and highlighted in thick, luminous marker pen, with ‘incredibly important’ rubber-stamped on top.
More so than ever, employees are hungry for information. They expect to be involved in decisions concerning their wellness and are a lot savvier when it comes to hygiene and safety. They want reassurance that is safe to return to work and that their employers are managing health and safety concerns in the correct manner.
Faced by so much pressure to get it right, what can businesses do to maintain a safe work environment for employees and customers? Rentokil shares the essential checklist to manage their expectations and concerns during this pandemic.
Respect social distancing
Social distancing – staying away from other people – is a health measure introduced to reduce the spread of infection. For the past few months, many workplaces have been sitting empty. As restrictions ease and employees start returning to their jobs, the workplace environment may feel unfamiliar place while increasing the risks of interactions.
Open-plan offices will be challenged, hot-desking are limited and taping spaces, to instruct employees where they can and cannot, what they can and cannot touch. Face-to-face meetings will be a thing of the past. Staggered working hours will keep numbers in the workplace to a minimum and office kitchens will no longer be the go-to venue for gathering activities.
There is a reason behind all this, of course. If people stay far enough away from each other, it is more difficult for the disease to spread from person to person. In a poll carried out by Rentokil Initial during the lockdown period, 80 percent of respondents expected to continue following social distancing guidelines when returning to work.
Ensure a high level of hygiene and sanitisation
Researchers at the University of Bristol in England assessed the airborne survival of bacteria in droplets from coughs and sneezes. They determined the average sneeze or cough can send around 100,000 contagious germs into the air at speeds up to 100 miles per hour.
Contaminated hands, meanwhile, can transfer viruses to fourteen other surfaces¹. Every minute, a working adult might touch as many as thirty objects that may be contaminated by bacteria or viruses, causing infectious disease². With coronavirus able to live on surfaces, such as plastic (72 hours), stainless steel (48 hours) and cardboard (24 hours)³, stopping the journey of the germ by reducing cross-contamination is crucial.
Our disinfection services sanitise touchpoints, surfaces, equipment and floors with solutions that can kill up to 99.99% of bacteria and viruses.
- We have a range of sprays and surface wipes that can minimise pathogens and provide up to 24-hour protection.
- Rentokil Initial’s poll revealed that 88% of respondents were concerned about the risk of the virus spreading via door handles in the workplace. HygienicTouch door handles use silver ion technology to kill 99.99% of bacteria, deposited on the handle’s surface by people’s hands.
- Our serviced floor mats capture up to 80% of the microorganisms before they are spread through the building.
Provide hand hygiene solutions
How many times has someone told you to wash your hands recently? It’s one of the easiest and effective ways to protect yourself, your staff and your customers. While the song a person sings when they are washing their hands might change from one person to the next, the responsibility for clean hands does not just sit with the individual. Satisfactory washroom conditions and educating people about efficient hand hygiene plays an important part too.
It is been proven that cleaner, more hygienic facilities encourage better habits amongst staff. That is precisely why employers need to think about investing in them. Our innovative hand washing and hand hygiene solutions will minimise the risk of cross-infection with bacteria and viruses.
- No-touch soap dispensers reduce the chance of picking up pathogens and our antibacterial soap can kill 99.99% of bacteria.
- Drying hands properly can reduce bacterial transmission by up to 99%. With paper towel and no-touch paper-roll dispensers available, our range of solutions covers any business needs.
- Hand sanitisers are a great way at stopping germs from spreading. Our formulation is effective against viruses.
Ensure a disinfection programme is in place
With lockdowns easing and businesses beginning to reopen, the concerns of a second wave of infections is understandable. Until we have a vaccine, these fears are unlikely to disappear completely. That is why a protocol should be in place as an emergency response to confirmed cases of COVID-19.
If an infected person has been on site, it is important that you decontaminate as a precautionary measure. Our professional disinfection misting service teams use the highest level of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and comply with safety regulations at all times.
Using a surface disinfectant that can protect from contamination for 24 hours, our highly trained technicians clean all the key touchpoints and surfaces in the building. For rapid disinfection of larger areas, they use ultra-low volume (ULV) disinfection fogging. This reaches areas that may be difficult to access using manual cleaning methods.
Reduce the risk of contamination
With lockdown leaving buildings empty for some time, businesses are also under threat from things that do not need a reasonable excuse to contravene regulations – pests.
Pests do not spread Coronavirus, but, while the world has been on lockdown, pests have not. Pests transmit a large number of diseases and can cause extensive damage to buildings. The usual suspects include rodents, cockroaches, flies and birds.
In fact, pests tend to hide and breed in vacated and unattended premises. Worse of all, with the opening of activities, cross infestation increases. Firstly, with more food preparation and consumption, cockroaches and ants would be attracted to these natural ingredients and its food waste. Mosquitoes on the other hand will fly freely from unit to unit and enter through those openings. Rats’ habitat that is disturbed by the newly resumed construction would seek shelter and home elsewhere. These pests if left untreated spread diseases that put your employees and customers at health and safety risks. Some of the diseases include the E.Coli, Salmonella and Hantavirus.
Ensuring a robust and adequate pest control services is necessary as business and operations resume, with more human-to-human interactions. Maintaining diligent housekeeping and good standard of sanitation is also essential to upkeep the pest management standards.
- Maintain a contactless pest control to optimise the level of distancing
- Digital rodent control to enhance the detection and control of rats around the premise
- Treat for common pests including cockroaches and ants that is attracted to food
- Ensure mosquito control is in place to address the rising dengue cases in Singapore
Seek professional sanitisation service
A credible pest control specialist will be able to advice relevant and suitable pest control programme and surface disinfection regime at an affordable cost while keeping your people safe and sound.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a disinfection and sanitisation services today.
- Transmission of viruses via contact in a household setting: experiments using bacteriophage strain phiXI174 as a model virus. Journal of Hospital Infection 2000
- Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona
- The New England Journal of Medicine, 2020