Covid-19: Using Disinfectants Correctly & Steps for High Touch Areas

Covid-19: Using Disinfectants Correctly & Steps for High Touch Areas

Posted on May 10, 2020

 
CLEANING YOUR FACILITY

WHO NEEDS TO KNOW

Who will be cleaning at your facility? Everyone should be responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their own workstation and shared tools to prevent transmission among and by the staff performing the cleaning. For shared areas, designate someone internally or increase external presence to meet the above cleaning schedules. Consider SOPs or tracking sheets for a consistent schedule and accountability.

 

 

HEALTHY & SAFETY TIPS | COVID-19

USING DISINFECTANTS CORRECTLY

The correct use of disinfectant will help control the spread of COVID-19

 

DISINFECTING PROTOCOL QUICK TIPS
  • Cleaning and disinfecting are different things. Sterilizing is something else as well. During the COVID-19 crisis, the goal is to disinfect the surfaces in the workplace that will be responsible for transmission, which means that we want to kill germs on any of the surfaces we touch.
  • Clean the surface first if the surface is soiled with oils or debris. A dirty surface cannot be disinfected. Use different cloths for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Hospital grade bulk disinfectant solutions MUST stay on the surface wet for 10 minutes to kill viruses.
  • Consumer level products (prepackaged wipes and sprays) are generally no more powerful than hospital grade and must also follow the 10 minutes wet air-drying procedure, unless otherwise specified on the label. If it’s not wet for 10 minutes (or four minutes in the case of some of the bleach-based wipes), you will need to use more of the product.
  • Wipe the device. Although we cannot spray directly; spray disinfectant on cloth and reapply to ensure the 10 minute contact time.
  • Do not use your cleaning cloth for disinfecting.
  • Do not use your disinfecting cloth on more than one area before retiring it.
  • Do not use the same solution all day. The active ingredient will lose its potency or evaporate and no longer be effective. Mix up no more than a half day supply when mixing your own.
  • Ideally, during the COVID-19 crisis manufacturers will re-tool to avoid workers sharing any tools or workstations. If this is unavoidable, then these should be disinfected between personnel using them. Mix bulk disinfectant solutions and disinfect each tool immediately after use so that it has time to air dry for 10 minutes before the next person uses it.
  • For single person workstations and tools, have each person disinfect their tools are area at the start and end of each shift. If no one else is in these areas, no transmission risk exists so keep the workstations to single persons as much as is possible.
  • For multi person workstations or areas, use tape, paint or other markings to separate the area and have people stay in, and disinfect, their own sections of the workstation or area. Provide a clear SOP on the steps each worker should take and the timing, with visuals where possible. The virus transmits in droplets and keeping your people as separate as possible is paramount.

 

 

STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS

SURFACES

Step-by-step process for disinfecting surface with an industrial disinfectant spray. On television and in commercials we often see a user gracefully misting a surface from 4 feet above, which is at best a dramatic re-enactment or an artist’s rendition of what disinfecting surfaces looks like. In real life, disinfecting requires a much greater effort.

 

GENERAL USE PROCEDURE FOR BULK | INDUSTRIAL GRADE DISINFECTANTS
  • Wear disposable gloves.
  • Brush all dry solid materials / dirt off the surface to be cleaned.
  • Clean when dirty first using a different cloth than the cloth used for disinfecting.
  • Spray the chosen disinfectant (Health Canada list here). Disinfectant must sit on the surface for 10 minutes without drying to kill COVID-19. If the disinfectant has dried before 10 minutes, re-apply. Do not bathe or soak your keyboards, electronics, and other operator controls in disinfectant. Always spray disinfectant onto the cloth, not the electronics.
  • Wipe the surface clean with a disposable cloth after 10 minutes. Discard the disposable cloth in a bag separate from the rest of the general waste in your shop, which should go directly to the bulk waste (big garbage bin outside) when full.
  • If disposable cloths are not an option, use microfibre cloths. A new area of the cloth should be used for each surface (fold your cloth in half, and then in half again – in your head, imagine that you now have four cleaning surfaces with that one cloth, and use “one cloth” per surface to be cleaned) and replace the cloth afterward.
  • To disinfect the reusable cloths, place them in the normal laundry with liquid detergent. Remember to disinfectant the laundry hamper where the contaminated cloths were stored for laundering.
  •  
PRE-PACKED DISINFECTING WIPE INSTRUCTIONS

Each wipe style product has its own disinfecting procedures. Read the label instructions or visit the manufacturers’ website (Clorox, particularly, has good information on how to properly use their products). A quick wipe or light misting will not effectively kill the virus.

  • To kill COVID-19 the specific instructions for your product must be followed
  • If you can’t find the instructions for how much of the product to use, the 10-minute air dry procedure is the default.
  • To determine if your disinfectant will actually kill COVID-19, review Health Canada’s list of products that will here.
  • Generally, look for these ingredient names in the product that you are thinking of purchasing:
    •  At least 70% or anhydrous alcohol
    •  Benzalkonium Chloride
    •  Hydrogen Peroxide
    •  Bleach (often written as “Sodium Hypochlorite”)
    •  There are others, but these are the most commonly-used products

 

 

HIGHER TOUCH COUNT EQUALS

HIGHER RISK TRANSMISSION

Here is a list of areas in your facility that may receive the most contact from potentially ill persons that also allow COVID-19 to survive for long enough to transfer to someone else. There are more. Think about the surfaces that you personally touch on your way to the lunchroom, the washroom, and in your personal workspace. These are the surfaces that need to be disinfected most often.

 

 

HIGH TOUCH ITEMS & MITIGATION OPPORTUNITIES

Door Handles
For the duration, ask for internal doors to be propped open. Place hand sanitizer station next to external; doors to allow for hand cleaning after touch door handles.

Lunchroom Tables
Stagger breaks and ensure all personnel understands how to disinfect and supply the disinfectant product and disposable cloths in the lunch room. Locate hand sanitizer stations near the break room exits.

Shared Printer | Fax Machine
Designate one person to load and disinfect the machine.

Desks | Countertops
Designate single person use or supply disinfectant training and equipment. Monitor and enforce disinfecting procedures, as described above, especially early on to create good habits surrounding disinfecting shared surfaces.

Toilet Seats | Bathroom Stall Handles
Increase professional cleaning frequency. Make all staff aware of how often they touch their faces between using the stalls and washing their hands. Teach all staff good hand washing procedures (such as here). Focus on the dirty hand turns on the tap, hand gets clean, use a paper towel to turn off the tap.

Computer Mice
Designate single use mice where possible and single person workstations.

Time Clock | Punch Clock
Stagger arrival time where possible, relax your attendance policy to allow for physical distance between the workers during sign in. Consider whether an actual punch in is required, or is it possible to have support staff monitor the entrances with a paper attendance sheet and check off people as they arrive?

Light Switches
Turn the lights on once per day and disinfect at the start and end of shift. Never spray liquid disinfectant directly onto a light switch.

Microwave Handles and Keypads
Use personal “dialing wands” that can then be washed with soap and water or designate
a single person to operate the door and timing buttons (the lunch owner will still load the
microwave).

Breakroom Cabinets
Take the doors off and put them in storage until the threat level of the virus is reduced.
Disinfect them first before handling them.

Keyboards
Where possible designate for single use. Disinfect between each operator. Always spray liquid disinfectant onto a cloth, never directly onto electronic devices.

 

 

CONTINOUS REVIEW

HIGH TOUCH AREAS

This is not an exhaustive list and you may not have some of these high touch areas, or you may have other items unique to your business that require extra attention that are not on this list. Share this list with your team and ask them to pay close attention to what they’re touching over the next couple of days that isn’t already on this list and add to them as you go.

 

 

HIGH TOUCH ITEMS & MITIGATION OPPORTUNITIES

Remote Controls
Where possible designate for single use. Disinfect between each operator. Always spray liquid disinfectant onto a cloth, never directly onto electronic devices.

Operator Control Stations
Where possible designate for single use. Disinfect between each operator. Always spray liquid disinfectant onto a cloth, never directly onto electronic devices.

Shared Tools
Where possible designate for single use. Disinfect between each operator. Always spray liquid disinfectant onto a cloth, never directly onto electronic devices.

Alarm Panels
Where possible designate for single use. Disinfect between each operator. Always spray liquid disinfectant onto a cloth, never directly onto electronic devices.

Vending Machines
Inform workers of the risk. Use personal “dialing wands” that can be washed (metal or plastic) with soap and water after use or install hand sanitizer stations next to the vending machines.

Faucet Handles
Post good hand washing technique posters in the washrooms (such as this one) and have the leadership team instruct ALL personnel in the correct technique.

Phones
Where possible designate for single use. Disinfect between each operator. Always spray liquid disinfectant onto a cloth, never directly onto electronic devices.

On | Off Buttons
Where possible designate for single use. Disinfect between each operator. Always spray liquid disinfectant onto a cloth, never directly onto electronic devices.

Huddle Board Markers
Each person that needs to write in information on huddle boards should be provided with their own marker.

 

 

For more information
Download the full tip sheet here.

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