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10 tips for office cleaning when the lockdown ends

Our group QHSE and sustainability director, Andrew Broderick, shares his recommendations for office cleaning when the lockdown ends.

The UK government announced a three-week extension to the coronavirus lockdown on 16 April. There are strong suggestions that normal economic activity – with the majority of people back to work – won’t resume until at least late May. Nonetheless, prudent organisations will already be thinking about how they can keep their people safe when offices finally reopen.

At Churchill, we understand that cleaning teams will play a central role in keeping public and private spaces disease-free when that time comes. Ensuring that buildings are sterile is going to be crucial if we want the world to return to normal and to stop a second wave of the coronavirus later in the year.

A review of the workplace cleaning risk assessment is an essential place to start however here are 10 steps your facilities and cleaning teams can take to ensure the office is clean and safe for your occupants’ return:

  1. Increase the frequency of cleaning throughout the building, especially in touchpoints and high-traffic areas like reception. A deep clean will be necessary before employees return but regular and thorough cleans should continue thereafter.
  2. Clean areas that anyone suspected COVID-19 symptoms has occupied with a recommended disinfectant to reduce the risk of the infection passing on to others. New processes should be put in place to ensure that potential carriers are identified quickly.
  3. Provide cleaning teams with disposable washing-up gloves and aprons. These items should be double-bagged, stored securely for 72 hours, and then thrown away with the regular waste after a clean is finished.
  4. Clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water and then disinfect these areas with cleaning products. Use single-use disposable cloths or paper products. Paying attention to frequently touched surfaces such as taps, door handles, and grab-rails in corridors and stairwells is paramount.
  5. When cleaning areas that have been contaminated by a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, make sure your cleaning teams wear aprons and personal protective equipment (PPE) for the eyes, mouth, nose and hands.
  6. Remind your cleaning teams to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds after they remove their gloves, aprons and other PPE. The NHS provides handy guidance on how to wash your hands.
  7. Regularly check occupants’ temperature to identify potential infections. A fever is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19.
  8. Switch hand dryers with recycled paper in all bathrooms. Paper towels have a lower chance of passing the virus.
  9. Clean hot desks and other shared spaces after each use. Place hand sanitiser near the desks for people to use before and after they sit in the space.
  10. Deep cleans will be crucial over the next few months but your responsibilities as an employer do not end there. A continuous cleaning programme is the most effective way of fighting the coronavirus and keeping everyone safe.

We have put together a matrix of critical FM mitigation services to support our clients’ back to work plans when the UK lockdown period ends. Click here to find out how we can help your teams feel safe when they return to work.