Protecting Employees & Disinfecting Specialists Requires Advanced PPE
A new era of the workplace will bring dramatic changes to the office. Office collaboration now seems to have shifted to a more Orwellian dim view of crowded elevators, packed subways and public transportation that pose perils that most employees will no longer expose themselves to as they contemplate their return to work.
Instead, employers are taking a more clinical approach to mitigate risk, ensuring that their facilities will not become the next Covid-19 outbreak epicenter. Employers need to be offering guidance to employees and the communities they impact, with protocols for the new “hygienic” office environment that incorporates a comprehensive operating system where cleaning, air quality, mitigation of risk, health monitoring, visual communications and personal safety are the new norm.
PROMOTING SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Businesses will be encountering a skittish workforce that will expect elevated assurances that their workplace is a healthy and safe environment. Clear visual displays from the CDC and other government agencies posting new regulations, standards for safety, health and wellness information will be the minimum resources that employees and visitors expect.
Buildings’ stakeholders, both occupiers and landlord need to give serious thought to heightened levels of service, PPE and the vital supplies and materials that must be part of the workplaces new Standard Operating Procedures. Additional budget impacts to accommodate for these increased levels of service will include enhanced cleaning; new access protocols (e.g., temperature screening); enhanced indoor air quality and purification tactics; increased PPE quantities of supplies (hand sanitizers, wipes, gloves, masks;) reconfiguration of work environments and associated technology and equipment; utilization tracking technologies; touchless technologies; and video camera analytics are all key elements of this plan.
Disinfecting Specialist will Require PPE to Provide Technical Disinfecting
For Disinfecting Specialist this PPE is very prescriptive. Personal protective equipment, or PPE is an essential protocol for all Disinfecting Specialist. Technicians that use HYGIENICA technology, for example, need to be trained and properly outfitted in PPE and adhere to strict operational protocols such as OSHA-compliant safety and cleaning methods, the use of EPA registered disinfectants and robust safety training. Even if your service provider uses electrostatic applications, ensure that their employees are fully outfitted in PPE while performing the work.
Disinfecting Specialist should be outfitted according to the chart above.
What are new Cleaning & Disinfecting Protocols that will be implemented?
CRITICAL CLEANING & DISINFECTING
Cleaning and maintenance professionals are becoming the new face of frontline workers in the workplace. Historically, maintenance personnel have only played such a critical role in the mitigation and the sanitization of pathogens, bacteria and viruses in healthcare facilities. Now building owners and occupiers will need to recognize the vital protocols that must be implemented to clean and disinfect the workplace.
Workplaces will now need to implement far more stringent and clinical cleaning strategies that include methods specifically designed to kill 99.99% of the Corona virus through an “Electrostatic” spraying application and EPA registered disinfectants that carry a “kill claim.” This process is highly specialized and was originally developed for GMP environments—healthcare, food processing and biotech clean rooms. The technicians and the technology used to execute this process are highly technical and require extensive training, PPE protocols and mobility. Commonly, a building’s janitorial company does not have the technical capability and training to provide such a service. In the limited cases where they do, the building owner and tenant should verify their training and PPE procedures.
TESTING & FIELD TESING FOR PATHOGENS
Occupiers and landlords are advised to work with remediation professionals that possess industry certifications for the proper disinfecting and remediation of bio-pathogens. The World Health Organization has provided training and certification resources for contractors and the Global Bio-Risk Advisory Council has created a certification called Certified Bio-Forensic Restoration Specialist training that demonstrates the capacity and technical competency to disinfect facilities by service providers.
In field testing for the virus on surfaces and physical assets will be as critical as testing individuals. Several advanced field testing devices such as Hygiena’s System SURE Plus is designed for convenient in-field swab testing and remote analysis. Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP, is the energy molecule found in all living things, making it a perfect indicator when trying to determine if a surface is clean or not. Companies use ATP systems to rapidly verify surfaces have been cleaned thoroughly in food manufacturing and healthcare applications, and to ensure that biofilms are not developing on the surface that could affect quality. These types of tests can be used to take random sampling in facilities that will allow the service professionals and the occupant to better mitigate the virus spread in those areas that are impacted the most.
EMPLOYEES WILL REQUIRE PPE IN THE WORKPLACE
Now that the CDC has approved the use of facial masks to protect the public from impacts of individual “aerosol “effects, which can spread the virus through even limited breathing, PPE will be required by companies to provide to its employees. Occupiers would also be advised to maintain adequate sources and supply of new PPE materials, such as surgical masks or respirators, gloves, sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, infrared thermometers, and other supplies that will promote a clean, safe and healthy workplace. Many large employers are anticipating providing daily and weekly employee “health” kits that include a personal allotment of these supplies.