At this point last year, few people globally could have foreseen the way the world would change, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The worldwide spread of the disease created what many are describing as ‘the new normal’, forcing nations to adopt unprecedented measures in efforts to slow (or eliminate) the spread of infection, and protect the vulnerable in communities everywhere. The very language we use to describe the world is evolving with the spread of the virus, with terms such as ‘social distancing’ and ‘lockdown’ now adopted and used as standard – phrases which had little to no meaning, just twelve short months ago.
Changing the face of the Janitorial sector, permanently
It stands to reason that in the face of a prevalent virus which is thought to be principally transmitted through contact and droplets, the Janitorial sector has been subject to the most radical transformation. Of all sectors which we serve, our clients responsible for deep cleaning working environments, hospitals and other spaces with a concentrated volume of pedestrians have been at the forefront of the effort to contain the viral spread.
As scientists research more deeply into the pandemic situation, to gain insight into the rates and routes of transmission, the governmental recommendations issued by bodies such as Public Health England, and the World Health Organisation, has largely remained unchanged. The quest to ensure individuals practiced effective hand hygiene led to a global shortage of hand sanitizer and soap products. Similarly, core items in the SureSan catalogue such as antibacterial wipes, sanitizer stations and surface disinfectants also came to be in unprecedented demand, as nations scrambled to ensure sufficient supplies to contend with the ‘new normal’.
For Janitorial teams nationally, operatives have been required to radically re-think the process of cleaning and germ control. Scientists informed us early on that the only way of preventing the transmission of the Covid-19 virus was through effective hand sanitization – firstly through prolonged hand washing with soap and water, and then through use of a generous amount of sanitizer, to be in contact with skin for a minimum of twelve seconds. After this initial guidance, however, all leading healthcare research bodies agreed that the virus had the ability to remain active on surfaces, allowing it to be transmitted from one person to another, through touch.
Taking deep cleaning to the next level
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), all environments with a high volume of people need to be regularly deep cleaned. The days of a quick wipe and polish of an office environment, for example, appear to be over. A deep clean includes first washing the surface area with soap and water, and then applying a surface sanitizer such as our antibacterial spray, and wiping it down thoroughly. Disposable cloths are now replacing reusable ones, and these have to be thrown away after each use.
Janitorial teams are now required to attend to ALL surfaces which are used by multiple people, and fully sanitize them. This includes cleaning and sanitizing desks, tables, door handles, telephones, and keyboards, for example – applying disinfectant solution frequently (and preferably after each time they come into contact with an individual).
Recognising the additional pressures being placed on our Janitorial sector
To effectively follow WHO guidance, our Janitorial customers are required to spend significantly more time on cleaning and sanitizing workplaces, so that they can be used in safety by those who attend the premises. Teams need to be acknowledged for the additional pressure being placed upon them, as front-line protectors directly inhibiting the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Staff need to be equipped with the right kit, including disposable aprons, masks and gloves, and a reliable supply of sanitization products, to continue to undertake the challenging new recommendations, in safety.