COVID-19 Infection Control Treatment Programme – How to make your workplace safe for staff
WHO (World Health Organisation) advise ‘Even in the absence of COVID-19 cases in the establishment, it is recommended that hygiene services be enhanced? Special consideration should be given to the application of cleaning and disinfection measures in common areas (restrooms, halls, corridors, lifts, etc.) as a general preventive measure during the entire COVID-19 epidemic. Special attention should be given to objects that are frequently touched such as handles, elevator buttons, handrails, switches, doorknobs, etc. ‘
Any sanitisation/disinfection/decontamination treatment program should be part of a wider Infection control policy that will include.
- Risk assessment and formal policy
- Social distancing
- Only essential travel
- Cleaning regime
- Disinfectant program
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Specialist Infection Control/Sanitisation/disinfecting Programme
NBC have 27 years’ experience delivering bird, pest and infection control services nationally. Our people are RSPH (Royal Society for the Protection of Health) level 2 qualified and are equipped with the latest equipment and germicide chemical products. We have developed an effective strategy using our knowledge, experience and guidance from Public health England to offer a specialist Covid-19 (Coronavirus) sanitisation/ disinfection/decontamination service to protect our client’s people from infection and enable businesses to continue to operate safely.
Our sanitisation/disinfection/decontamination process is much more than cleaning as it is designed to neutralise harmful infectious particles on all surfaces that even the most thorough clean could not hope to achieve.
- Office desks, key pads and telephones can have 400 times more germs than a toilet and as 81% of infections result from contact these areas are high risk and as well as other regularly touched surfaces such as switches, door handles, buttons and kitchens are given attention with disinfectant applied through electrostatic sprayers. This equipment allows for a thorough application of very fine particles, surfaces are there for not soaked which prevents damage to electrical equipment.
- Interior Surface spray. Toilets are sprayed with a high volume of germicide through a pressurised course sprayer.
- Space ULV fogging application. Rooms are filled with ultra-fine micro particles of germicide that remain in the air for a prolonged period killing any harmful infectious particles that are in the air and when they land on surfaces neutralise any harmful germs or viruses. This method of application is recognised by experts as the most effective method, it fills the air, envelops furnishings and clings to surfaces resulting in a thorough application which does not need to be wiped off or hand cleaned.
- Exterior misting. Exterior surfaces, plant and equipment of human congregation or have the potential for human contact are misted with a mist blower. Not to be confused with fogger, mist blower particles are larger and heavier and are unlikely to get blown away in the wind and are more able to wet surfaces sufficiently in this environment to provide an effective barrier.
- Completion of report. The supervisor carrying out the treatment will complete a digital report detailing works and provide any further recommendations. This will be emailed real time to client as confirmation.
- Certificate of confirmation. The supervisor will sign the disinfecting treatment register and/or a certificate will be supplied by the contract manager.
Many service providers are making exaggerated claims with regards to the products that they are using and their residual value, e.g. how long they last on a surface. Whilst test sheets of trials in laboratories may show extended life, independent research has shown in the real world where surfaces are subject to contact, wear and UV light this rarely extends beyond a week.
The frequency of a program should be calculated according to a risk assessment as part of an infection control policy. Severity x Likelihood. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic we advised monthly treatments however as the likelihood and severity has increased the overall risk rating to high, we are now recommending in most situations’ weekly treatments.
Germicide Disinfectant Products
We use only hospital grade disinfectant products effective against enveloped viruses and Certified to EN 14476, 1276, 14675, 13604 (The main Viricidal Standards). Colourless and odourless they are safe to use on all surfaces, Non-Hazardous, Non-Toxic and Bleach Free. Essential in fighting cross-infection.
Best Practice-Government Guidance
The advice in this document can be applied to any non-healthcare setting such as workplaces, offices, waiting rooms, hotel rooms, student accommodation and boarding schools where a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case has spent time while symptomatic. For the purposes of this guidance, a possible case of COVID-19 is someone undergoing testing but COVID19 has not yet been excluded, and a confirmed case is someone known to have a positive laboratory test for COVID-19. The guidance describes the cleaning required, the appropriate disposal of materials, the disinfection of equipment and hard surfaces, and the personal protective equipment (PPE) that should be worn. Previous experience of new coronaviruses (SARS-CoV & MERS-CoV) has been used to inform this guidance. The risk of infection transmission depends on numerous factors, including the type of surfaces contaminated, the amount of virus shed from the individual, the time the individual spent in the setting and the time since the individual was last in the setting.
The infection risk from environmental contamination will decrease over time, but it is still unclear at what point there is no risk of transmission from the environment.
Sanitising Clean – Immediate response and attendance
In response to the government’s suggestion that where possible, companies encourage home working to reduce/delay the spread of COVID-19; we have been working closely with our suppliers to identify products that may help reduce the risk of exposure to this virus. As a result, we have been recommended an additional level of cleaning using a fogger. This product helps keeps rooms/areas (where dispersed), sterilised for up to 7 days as long as nobody re-enters the room who has subsequently displayed any symptoms of illness. Fogging is a highly effective method and the product sprayed is a powerful broad-spectrum germicide and all surface product on the market. We are providing a 24/7 call out service with our specialist sanitising clean and disinfecting fogging service focusing on all surfaces listed under our process section above. Once completed, our specialist clean comes with a full high-level written report accompanied by photo from site to provide reassurance of the work carried out.
Personal Protective Equipment – (PPE)
The minimum PPE required to be worn for decontaminating an area where a possible or confirmed case has been includes a full protective body suit, face masks, disposable gloves and disposable overshoes. Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after all PPE has been removed. If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of contamination may be present (for example where unwell individuals have slept such as a hotel room or boarding school dormitory) or there is visible contamination with body fluids, then the need for additional PPE such as a full-face visor should be considered. The local Health Protection Team can advise on this. Most other settings where the person has spent shorter periods of time (such as a waiting room, office space, restaurants, gyms) are likely to have lower levels of contamination and therefore the risk of onward transmission of infection will be lower.
Cleaning and Disinfection
Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned as directed by any existing workplace risk assessment or manufacturer’s instructions on the safe use of their cleaning products.
All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:
- Objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids.
- All potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grabrails in corridors and stairwells.
- Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean and disinfect all hard surfaces, floors, chairs or door handles and sanitary fittings in the room, following one of the two options below:
- Use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 parts per million available chlorine.
- A household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants.
- If an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses.
Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning. Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into the correct waste bags as outlined below under the waste section.
When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning may be used.
Spillages of blood and body fluids should be managed in accordance with the organisations spillage policy, before cleaning and disinfection. If any items are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be appropriately cleaned, consider discarding. Permission to do discard items should be received from the owner prior to removing.
If an area can be kept closed and secure for 72 hours, wait until this time for cleaning, as the amount of virus contamination will have decreased significantly. The area can then be cleaned as directed by any existing workplace risk assessment or manufacturer’s instructions on the safe use of their cleaning products.
Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths, tissues, and masks if worn) should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known. Children, pets, pests etc. should not be able to access this place. Waste should NOT be left unsupervised on the pavement awaiting collection.
Follow up of persons involved in environmental decontamination
The names and contact details of those carrying out cleaning of an area that a possible case has been in should be recorded by the person responsible for this setting. As part of the contact tracing process for a confirmed case, the local Health Protection Team will advise on arrangements for follow up required for 14 days after the cleaning process took place.
For more information, Specifications, Risk Assessments and Method Statements – download PDF’s below.