Singapore comprises quite a massive labour force of over 3.7 million. As businesses, foreign investments and partnerships increases, the commercial workspace is expected to grow simultaneously. Currently, there are over 80 skyscrapers in Singapore; and there is an increased commercial development that integrates with retail, residential and F&B spaces. This means an increase in human traffic, particularly within the office space.
Implications with resuming commercial operations
Increase office activities and people movement
With more operations resumed after the ease of circuit breaker, there will be more activities and movements taking place. As more employees return to the office, engagement and movements around increase. Firstly, the pantries will be utilised with food consumption, drinks preparation and waste disposal. Secondly, more work desks will be in use for work and meal activities for some. Thirdly, washrooms are in operation with potential water spills and drips if without proper drying. Finally, for offices with plants or outdoor space, there will be more planting activities or potential receptacles placed. Above all, these actions will potentially promote a pest infestation unless with pest prevention and control in place.
Higher cross contamination and infestation risks
Due to more movements and activities, the risk for cross contamination and cross infestation is higher. For offices located along a cluster stretch or within a commercial building, there is a risk of pest entries from neighbouring tenants. Pest entries can occur through regular entering and exiting the premise from the main entrance, meeting rooms, pantries and washrooms. Cross infestation can be avoided by applying adequate pest proofing within the office.
We may subject ourselves to cross contamination risk, as there are more attendance and human interactions. For instance, are there any unwell employees who are turning up for work? Is there optimal personal hygiene practiced among everyone? Is the sanitation standard upkeep well? This includes not disposing of used tissues properly or leaving them on work desks. Above all, is there healthy washroom etiquette? This involves washings and drying hands and flushing after use.
Potential lapse in facility maintenance
As we get busier and gear up to resume business operations, there may be gaps and negligence in terms of facility maintenance and housekeeping. Some common office mistakes and lapses include:
- Having meals or snacking at work stations
- Throwing consumed lunch boxes at desk’s bin
- Not cleaning up food debris and spills in the pantry
- Wet premises from water drips
- Uncovered and insecured trash bins
- Irregular or last trash disposals comprising decaying matters
- Inconsistent or inadequate housekeeping regime
Essential to maintain peoples’ health and safety
Taking care of your people is paramount. As they start to return to work, they may harbour various thoughts on health and safety concerns. For example, is the office space safe from bacteria and viruses? Are they expecting any surge or sudden occurrence of pest infestation due to 2 months-vacation? Is the location falling under the dengue cluster in Singapore and do they need to be wary of dengue fever? Will food safety be compromised due to contaminated surfaces and cutleries due to cockroach infestation? Worst of all, is there rodent activity at key risk areas such as server rooms that can cause short circuits and fire through their gnawing habits? It is essential to take care of your employees by ensuring adequate pest control solutions and pest prevention in place.
Why it is necessary for recovery pest control
There have been some disruptions and business challenges in this COVID-19 pandemic and activation of circuit breaker. This includes financial challenges, operation disruptions, employees’ morale and facility conditions. Hence, recovery pest control is essential to ensure your business is ready to resume in a safe manner. Firstly, as we gear back, investments and costs should be well managed and controlled. Secondly, productivity and workday loss due to medical leave is less desirable as we recover from business impact. Thirdly, it is beneficial to avoid additional hassles and rectification in matters relating to pest infestation, structure damages and reconstructions. Fourthly, any social media and brand crisis relating to food contamination should be avoided. Finally, as we all recover and get back on business, your people’s assurance and trust is most crucial. This can be done by ensuring their safety, their confidence and comfort in returning to deliver full work passion.
Four essential commercial pest control
Common pest management
The more commonly found pests in an office environment is that of cockroaches and ants. This is due to food availability within the pantries and workstations, sanitation standards and as well as possible entries from external. Having cockroach control and treatments to eliminate ants infestation can minimise health issues that these pests can cause. Besides food safety, it helps in managing the emotional stress among employees with phobia for pests, particularly Katsaridaphobia – fear for cockroaches.
Digital rodent control
Rats in Singapore are notoriously challenging in most businesses due to many factors. Unfortunately, rats are mysterious with less noticed presence compared to other pests. To add on their secrecy, they are nocturnal and appear when we all return home. As such, this challenged most companies to control their rats infestation effectively. This is also not forgetting mice infestation that also happens in Singapore as well. Read here to find out what is the difference between rats and mice.
Rat control has evolved to contactless mode that minimises interactions and contact with users. Using sensing technology that connects to a real time command centre, we can monitor and manage pest control remotely. In addition, rat activities that are unable to be detected can be triggered and alerted through the Rentokil Rat Riddance Connect. You will find rodent activities, onsite findings and recommendations conveniently through an online reporting platform. This minimises the need for a personal or specialist to explain details face to face. Switch to contactless rodent control today.
Mosquito and Dengue prevention
Mosquitoes are not just a residential worry but also among commercial users. Due to its ability to travel anywhere and everywhere to find their hosts, mosquitoes can appear regardless of the locations. Firstly, mosquito breeding can occur anywhere so long as there is a breeding source. Secondly, mosquitoes’ entries via windows, entrances and gaps can take place often. Thirdly, there could be poor facility maintenance or housekeeping standards that promote breeding. Fourthly, the business may be undertaking limited or inadequate mosquito prevention. Finally, businesses would need to evaluate if the current mosquito control is working well in terms of controlling the mozzie population.
Here are some common mozzie hot spots in an office setting:
- Outdoor plants with potted trays that can contain stagnant water
- Drains and gully along the perimeter of the office unit or building
- Neglected potted plants in the office work space that turns into receptacles
- Containers and pails that collects water
- Individual work stations with plants or table-top water feature
Dengue cases in Singapore begin with a simple encounter of a mosquito bite. This is particularly among female mosquitoes who seek hosts like employees for their blood supply. While mozzies have formed a part of the human population, there are tips and solutions to safeguard your employees from the dreadful dengue fever.
- Get rid of mosquitoes by ensuring you have well carried out mosquito control programme
- Check for signs of mosquitoes which is often the first step of prevention
- Raise awareness among employees on how to protect themselves from getting bitten
- Take diligent steps in removing mosquito breeding source
- Install mosquito traps to lure and trap adult mosquitoes both indoors and outdoors
Surface Disinfection Treatment
Disinfection misting is a solution that is recommended following through diligently before, during and after circuit breaker. The reason is that we are exposed to all sorts of surfaces in an office. It can range from your desk and arms of the seats, stationery and tools, office equipment, and door handles and knobs. In an article shared by YourMD, bacteria and viruses can remain on surfaces such as door handles for as long as six hours and on fabric such as clothing for 30 to 45 minutes. In summary, pathogens can cause illness including respiratory infections, influenza, E. Coli and Staphylococcus.
On average, we spend at least 8 hours in an office and this places us at high risks in contracting harmful pathogens. Disinfection and sanitisation forms an essential health and safety measure in eliminating presence of bacteria and viruses such as the coronavirus. It also gives peace of mind to your people as they resume their work activities.
Rentokil Initial performs specialised disinfection treatments that include a wipe down disinfection service. Considering safety as the top priority, the disinfectant is water-based and safe, optimal antimicrobial effect and proven to last up to 30 months. This equates to protecting your people every day in a work month by eliminating bacteria and viruses by 99.99%. Find out more on disinfection solutions catered in the COVID-19 Recovery Programme.
How frequent to schedule commercial pest control
There are pest implications during circuit breaker such as harbouring pests in a vacated premise, pest entries for food and shelter and reproduction of pests. For newly returned colleagues, it is important to do an intensive and stringent pest flush out regime. One-off intensive treatment for targeted species may be required to focus on eliminating a specific problem. Thereafter, subsequent maintenance is planned on a regular and consistent basis.
Depending on the sites-survey of your office, frequency and number of services is recommended. For instance, for offices with low pest infestation level, a basic and light pest programme is ideal. Hence, a monthly routine service at identified treatment areas is sufficient. However, we recommend a more intense and frequent service in an environment with heavy infestation levels or categorised as high-risk areas. In this case, the premise may require bi-weekly or even weekly treatment. In conclusion, it is best not to create any lapse in treatment that may cause possible worsening or re-infestation risk.
Cleaning vs Sanitation vs Disinfection Methods
There are many cleaning and sanitising methods which can either DIY or seek professional help. Amongst all, the basic, easiest and perhaps the cheapest is soaping and wiping surfaces. While most dirt and impurities can be removed, this approach will not reduce or eliminate bacteria and viruses. In addition, it is not easy to remove stubborn debris and grime. Steam vacuuming may clean to some extent with the heat and steam, however, the cleaning gadget is unable to reach narrow spaces, corners, cracks and grooves. A clean and white surface does not mean bacteria-free. These methods also lack the sanitising component that reduce bacteria or disinfectant that kills a broad range of microorganisms. Proper disinfection treatment will destroy pathogens found on surfaces and prevent the transmission of diseases to humans when in contact.
Ensure adequate hygiene facilities for users
It is both the responsibility of the facility or business and employees to maintain optimal hygiene standards. Poorly controlled pest infestation and inadequate hygiene practice can lead to bacteria-causing diseases.
- Equip facilities with basic hand hygiene such as hand soap dispensers and hand drying tools
- Heighten protection level with additional hand hygiene such as sanitisers
- Washrooms with numerous cubicles and human traffic, a toilet seat cleaner should be installed for use
- Floor can trap dirt and grime that is unhealthy and hazardous. Arrange proper floor mat service to ensure floor safety.
- Employees should cultivate the habit of washing hands with soap after washroom use or after a sneeze and cough
- Make it a point to use the toilet seat cleaner to sanitise the surface seats that harbours multiple bacteria and viruses
- Dispose sanitary napkins into the available sanitary unit with the lid closed. These soiled napkins are also a source of pest attraction
Backed with research and innovation, contactless hygiene solutions are available to minimise cross contamination risks. The Initial hand soap dispensers and sanitisers are equipped with sensor technology by dispensing in a non-touch manner. Feminine hygiene unit is also contactless by waving your hand at the sensor area to activate lid opening. Find out more on the complete range of Initial Hygiene Solutions.
Improving air quality within an office
Do you know the air quality in an office can be a concerning factor. Firstly, compounds such as the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) often occur in an office environment. This includes paints and adhesives (particularly for newly renovated premises), copy machines and printers. When exposed, these harmful gases and vapour can cause short-term health effects such as headache, dizziness, eye irritation and respiratory ailments.
There is also presence of air pollutants such as the Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) that comprises particles that lingers in the air. Exposures to these harmful particles can lead to health conditions including respiratory illness, allergies, bronchitis and in severe cases, heart diseases. Above all, cross contamination occurs as we react to these particles by sneezing and coughing with poor hygiene habits.
Improve the indoor air quality for your employees by installing air purification at high traffic spaces. There are innovations such as the InspireAir 72 that has an efficient clean air delivery rate of 600m3/h. (CADR). This translates to a coverage area of 36m2 in just ten minutes. With the four level filtration system, it removes particles and polluting gas such as chemicals and biological agents by 95%. Key measurements on the air quality include temperature, humidity, PM2.5and Volatile Organic Compound.
Step up pest and hygiene education awareness
Most pest challenges begin with the lack of awareness and knowledge. Some common questions raised around pest facts include:
- What attracts pests to an office
- What food do they feed on
- Where are the various pest hide outs
- How to get rid of cockroaches and ants
- Where do these pests come from
- Why is my current pest management doesn’t work
- Infestation still occurs even in a clean environment
Professional pest control companies have a pool of entomologists and biologists to debug common pest myths and equip your employees with pest knowledge. In addition, they can conduct training around pest and infestation signs detection, proofing tips and housekeeping awareness. Above all, raise hygiene etiquette awareness by placing instructional and educational posters and labels. For example, the correct hand washing and sanitising steps and disposing sanitary napkins hygienically.
Engage a professional pest control specialist
Enforce a well delivered pest control service that prevents putting business and people’s safety at stake. As compared to carrying out treatments in a residential home, commercial pest control is slightly different. This is due to the nature and environment of the location, business needs and objectives, existing premise condition and user habits. In addition, every business has different budget preferences, and price of pest control engagement can differ. A pest control company will recommend solutions based on the type of treatments carried out, choice of active ingredients, the frequency needs and area of coverage.
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 for a pest control solution today.