How to Keep your Workplace Clean and Sanitized

As the country slowly continues to reopen, we understand the challenges businesses and workplaces face as we all learn to adjust to a new normal. Besides practicing safe social distancing and rigorous hand washing, everyone must also do their part to keep workplaces clean and disinfected to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Know how to clean

The virus that causes COVID-19 can live on surfaces and objects for hours or even days. Warmer temperatures and sunlight can reduce that time, but the right plan for keeping areas clean is vital. This includes a three-step process:

  1. Wear rubber or other protective gloves and clean the surface or object with soap and warm water.

  2. Thoroughly wipe down the surface or object with disinfectant. If a disinfectant isn’t available, use 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water or 70% alcohol solutions. Never mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfectant products together.

  3. Repeat every 24 hours.

If your workplace or business has been closed for more than seven days, normal routine cleaning will suffice because the virus that causes COVID-19 usually doesn’t survive on surfaces for more than a week.

Know what to clean

Your regular cleaning staff can take care of large community spaces, but commonly-used surfaces and objects will need to be regularly cleaned and disinfected to avoid infection. These can include:

  • Countertops

  • Desktops

  • Doorknobs

  • Handles

  • Keyboards

  • Light switches

  • Phones

  • Sinks and faucets

  • Tables

  • Toilets

  • Touch screens

How to clean if someone becomes ill

If one of your employees becomes ill, you don’t necessarily have to close your facility. But you do have to follow cleaning guidelines to make sure the infection doesn’t spread. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this includes the following:

  • Close off any area that was used by the person who is ill.

  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation.

  • Wait 24 hours, then clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is ill.

  • Vacuum the area when people aren’t present (after hours).

Employees who did not have close contact with the sick employee can return to work after disinfection. Those who were in close contact may need to stay home or take regular temperature checks to watch for symptoms.

Educate your staff

  • Inform cleaning staff, who perform general cleaning, laundry and trash pick-up about the symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Provide instructions on what to do if employees or cleaning staff develop symptoms.

  • Provide training to all cleaning staff about virus-related procedures (such as how to use personal protective equipment).

  • Make sure your staff is practicing safe social distancing, washing hands frequently and have all the necessary cleaning supplies (such as hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes).

We understand that communicating and enforcing proper procedures in an ever-changing landscape isn’t easy. The good news is that once you create a safe and sanitized workplace, you and your team can focus on business as usual again.

COVID-19 Resources: Managing Your Business During a Crisis