What are touch points and why do they need regular cleaning?
The term ‘touch point’ is being heard more frequently in return to work meetings, webinars and discussion forums. What are touch points exactly? Well, they can be a wide range of items in any building which is touched frequently by different people. In a post-COVID-19 world, commercial cleaners working in all industries need to change the way they clean to incorporate frequent cleaning and sanitising of these areas. This is required as part of any return to work plan and the duty of care for employees.
How do I know what a touch point is?
It can be overwhelming, particularly in larger buildings to identify common touch points. A good tip is to not think about the building specifically but to think about an employee and the areas they are likely to visit in an average day. For example; if you are a facilities manager for a large office, think about how an employee enters the building. Do they push a security buzzer? Do they have to sign in? What about reaching their desired level? Are they taking the stairs and holding on to a handrail, or taking the lift?
What are the most common touch points?
There can be many different touch points in a building and some are industry-specific. However, here are some of the most common touch points to focus on.
- Door handles both internal and external
- Lift buttons
- Kitchens and Kitchenettes including taps, jars, kettle switches
- Light switches
- Sign in/out areas
- Bathrooms, particularly sinks
- Stair handrails
- End of trip facilities such as bike racks and showers
- Keyboards, telephones, computer equipment
- Equipment such as tills and machinery which are used by different people over staggered shifts
My commercial cleaner will be cleaning touch points all day!
It’s true, there are many touch points which will require frequent cleaning and sanitising. However, you don’t need to invest in a full time cleaner for all the touch point cleaning in your business. Sure, you will definitely need to sit with your cleaning team and come up with a COVID-19 cleaning schedule, but the onus is also on employees. Implement a clean desk policy and request all personal items are taken home to remove the clutter. Provide sanitiser and disinfectant wipes and ask staff to clean their keyboards, phones and screens frequently. Provide sanitisation stations in all high foot traffic and touch point areas and encourage employees to sanitise and wash hands as much as often as possible.
Be sure to check out the requirements for your industry and building by heading to Safework NSW.