How To Protect Your Cleaning Team From Coronavirus
Commercial cleaning companies are in high demand at the moment. All businesses from industrial factories to retail and office spaces are ramping up their cleaning schedules. They are implementing coronavirus specific cleaning plans to clean, disinfect and sanitise work areas to minimise the risk of a confirmed case of coronavirus. This means that cleaning companies need to change too, in order to protect your cleaning team.
However, how do commercial cleaning companies protect their own cleaning teams who are exposed to different buildings?
Here are our top 5 tips to protect your cleaning team from coronavirus
Communication and guidelines
Are you following the government guidelines for cleaning commercial premises and cleaning teams? The first thing you should do is head to Safe Work Australia to fully understand what your responsibilities are when it comes to a thorough cleaning and social distancing regime. Once you have a full understanding, you must communicate this to your cleaning teams either through a zoom call, webinar, email or infographic. A good tip is to get all of your staff to acknowledge they have read and understood the new procedures and guidelines.
PPE or not to PPE?
As a duty of care, you should provide correct PPE for your staff so that they can carry out their jobs safely. The Australian government does not support the use of masks. However, if your staff prefer to wear them, ensure that they know how to wear them correctly. You cannot force employees to wear or not wear masks, however, you may want to share the government guidelines and have an open conversation with your cleaning teams.
Look at your cleaning schedule
Take a step back and review your cleaning schedule with the aim of minimising risk and exposure where you can. Which sites are your staff assigned to? Check the rotation of teams and try and keep the same staff for each site to avoid cross-contamination. Talk to your clients about their site requirements. Find out if they have teams that need to be segregated and assign specific cleaners to these areas. You may also want to look at earlier or later start times so that your staff avoid travelling during peak hour commuter travel times.
Review your cleaning products
Are your current commercial cleaning products effective enough? In recent times there has been a swing to use more natural and green products to clean commercial premises. However, they may not be powerful enough to eliminate viruses such as COVID-19. Ensure you are using a strong disinfectant as recommended by Safe Work Australia to eliminate germs which can linger on surfaces for up to 72 hours.
The government guidelines do not require you to use hospital-grade disinfectant. However, you do need to clean, disinfect and sanitise all areas, in particular, common areas and touchpoints. Using high-quality professional cleaning products not only protects the employees of the building you are cleaning, they also protect your own cleaning staff whilst on-site.
Training and education
The way cleaning companies operate will change forever after the global pandemic. Australian businesses may slowly begin to open, but there will continue to be a focus on cleanliness, rigorous hygiene and social distancing measures in place. There will be changes to cleaning schedules, new products, increased use of PPE and more detailed and frequent cleaning procedures. It’s a huge amount of adjustment for cleaners who will also be feeling anxious and worried about returning to work.
This is where continuous training and education over the coming months is incredibly important. By breaking down training and education into bite-sized, easy to digest chunks, you will gain more engagement and confidence within your teams. Delivering continuous education through on-site supervision and other digital means will instil confidence in your cleaning team.
We hope that these tips will assist you and help you create a comprehensive plan to protect your cleaning team. As we enter a new phase of the commercial cleaning industry the focus will be on the balance of green cleaning and anti-bacterial and anti-viral cleaning products to protect all people in the workplace.