Necessary changes for commercial cleaning policies & procedures going forward;
Not that long ago things were much different and much simpler, but the world pandemic has changed everything including commercial cleaning standards & procedures. As a result, most of the changes caused by this pandemic are most likely here to stay.
Many businesses have begun the process of adapting to a new way of life, from conducting business remotely to social-distancing in the office to employees wearing (PPE) personal protective equipment, commercial cleaning procedures and operations are one of the hardest hit industries. In the past, building executives mostly assumed the biggest objective of a commercial cleaning company was to mostly create a clean and presentable work environment. However, due to health concerns resulting from the pandemic the stakes appear to be much higher. The public is ever aware that this is not just a temporary health and presentation inconvenience, it’s a matter of life itself.
But American’s do what American’s do, we adapt! Life has forever changed, and we must get used to it. Commercial cleaning procedures and policies are evolving, and will very likely continue to adapt as the crisis plays out. It’s very important right now more than ever that cleaning company’s know the proper ways to keep their customers and employees healthy and safe as the world recovers and returns back to work amid this global pandemic.
The new standards for commercial cleaning procedures and policies
With COVID-19 threatening our way of life, here’s a new standard for commercial cleaning. First the basics, such as wearing rubber gloves and just disinfecting surfaces isn’t enough anymore. Commercial cleaning procedures and policies should address the obvious and subtle nuances that the virus causes.
Here are some of the additional steps that are now required for proper protection. For instance, you can’t just use the old standard disinfectant. Only EPA-approved cleaning products should be used to ensure a surface is left free of the germs that can cause COVID-19. Just spraying disinfectant on a surface and wiping it down won’t suffice, either. EPA-approved disinfecting products can take between 2-10 minutes to kill COVID 19 and disinfect a surface thoroughly. That means that not only will cleaning require paying more attention to the details, but the time it will take to complete a job will also be longer.
Here’s the good and the bad regarding this new commercial cleaning approach to the standard policies and procedures. The good: You’re not alone. Federal, state, and many local governments are putting out specifications and updated procedures for keeping commercial work places clean and safe from COVID-19. The bad: Monitoring and following all of the different regulations can be arduous. If a cleaning company only operates in a single state or county, it would be okay, but if they service customers across the US, you’ll need to investigate exactly what’s recommended, required and what’s permitted in all locations. The (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local Department of Health would be a good place to start.
It’s more important now than before that commercial cleaning policies and procedures adhere to one of the most useful ways to combat COVID-19, and that is updating the cleaning frequency. Previously, a commercial property was usually cleaned once a day, maybe with a midday day-porter to empty trash cans or to spot clean the kitchen. In many cases, that’s no longer sufficient. Current CDC recommendations says that the virus that causes COVID-19 may remain live on hard surfaces for hours to days, though recommendations change as new information comes in. However, hard surfaces are best cleaned multiple times in a day, which unfortunately will increase costs at facilities that are probably already facing unbearable financial strain. Even when the increased expense is validated, you’ll still want your cleaning company to keep close track of the cleaning schedule and when it’s actually being cleaned. Setting the cleaning schedule, following the cleaning schedule, and recording the cleaning schedule would be advised.
It is more necessary today, for a cleaning company to be more conscience of the things we used to take for granted as cleaners. For instance, vacuuming a carpet in a commercial space while people are still working may raise the risk of contracting COVID-19 as the vacuum disperses dirt and particles up from the floor. Public work spaces should be completely vacated while your cleaning team is performing their work.
Changing out the old gloves, masks, and face shields on a regular schedule will be a critical procedure in assisting the cleaning crew in keeping the environment safe. One PPE change out per shift won’t be sufficient anymore. PPE must be changed out regularly, especially rubber gloves, change them as often as possible during a cleaning shift, not just when they’re finished or when something becomes dirty.
Your commercial cleaning procedures and policies should also incorporate a proper hazard assessment of each new cleaning job as it relates to COVID-19. Because of COVID19 your assessments need to be updated regularly to accurately predict scenarios that may be hotbeds for the COVID 19 virus.
There are a lot of new commercial cleaning policies and procedures that should be reviewed. From getting more detailed procedures adopted into your cleaning practices to providing extensive safety training that will protect employees. Also consider the increased amount of communication and documentation of the cleaning services that will reflect this new and changing world of commercial cleaning which all need to be updated and examined accordingly.
Due to the pandemic, commercial cleaning operations necessitate re-evaluation of all the products they might use, and the time it should take to complete a cleaning task, as well as the precautions needed just entering into the job site, and the government mandates that are put out by government health agencies, and more.
On a positive note, we understand that change is possible and even probable. We’ve already witnessed so much of it since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, and we’ll continue to see various advancements in which your business and your customers can adapt to our new normal. The commercial cleaning industry needs to be proactive to properly implement this change. After all It is the commercial cleaning companies who are on the front-lines of getting our economy back to being fully functional. Without the commercial cleaning industry, businesses would not be able to properly clean and protect their businesses so customers can return, starting that great American economic engine again.