Influenza was the cause of death of over 80,000 Americans during the fall and winter of 2017/18. It is this time of the year again! Facility managers across the country are challenged to protect their buildings and tenants. With this article, we want to share 3 tactics you can implement today to keep your building occupants healthy during this dangerous time.
- Implement a touch point cleaning approach
Touch point cleanup includes a targeted approach to areas most exposed to hands throughout the day: light switches, door handles, telephones, elevator buttons, etc. A study conducted by Kimberly-Clark showed that providing hand sanitizers, face tissues, and wipes along with briefing employees about high frequency touch areas helps to reduce the number of viruses contaminated surfaces by 62%. Additionally, employee absence time can be reduced by 45%.
- Ask your janitorial company about the disinfection services they offer
The main thing you need to know about the disinfection is that it is not possible to clean and disinfect in one step. Many germs can hide underneath dirt and other materials. This makes cleaning and disinfecting at the same time ineffective. Taking into account that the flu virus can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours, many janitorial providers offer an additional step of disinfection to support the facility team in their fight against the virus.
- Make sure your cleaning service provider uses the right equipment
The flu virus is an airborne disease that begins to spread even before a person feels that he/she is falling sick. One of the best ways to prevent spreading of the virus is to focus on IAQ (indoor air quality). Make sure that your janitorial service provider uses the HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter vacuums that remove 99.9% of even the smallest particles thus preventing them from being blown right back into the work atmosphere.
We know it is much easier to prevent issues versus solving them. Aside from the tips mentioned above, we recommend facility managers work directly with the leadership/HR team to encourage employees to stay home while feeling sick!