Hard surface disinfection and hand sanitation crucial as we look to a future out of lockdown
UKCSA Associate Member and concrete admixtures specialist, Bradford based Oscrete, passes on hygiene expertise from its sister company Christeyns, as the construction industry gears up to protect returning workers against Covid-19.
“As the construction industry gets back to work and in line with Site Operation Procedures set out by the Construction Leadership Council, changes will need to be made in order to reduce the risk of future Coronavirus contamination,” explains Scott Wilson, Operations Director at Oscrete. “Observing an absolute minimum of 2 metres social distancing will be standard but cleaning and personal hygiene routines are also necessary to avoid transmission of the virus. This will involve hand washing and sanitising and surface hygiene.”
Often overlooked are the areas of contact point hygiene, hard surfaces in high traffic areas, as well as tools and machinery, and to meet Public Health England guidelines these will need to be approached differently, with hygiene and cleaning routines enhanced across the board. The vital role played by cleaning staff will need to take on a much more comprehensive function.
Research is ongoing into Covid-19 (novel Coronavirus) but evidence has shown already that infectivity on hard surfaces can remain for several days in the right conditions. It is worth noting that according to the WHO1 the advice given is on cleaning and disinfection and not disinfection alone. The use of a product that combines the best attributes of both a detergent and a disinfectant, or sanitiser, would be the best choice.
Using products that enable users to both clean and disinfect the surface will maximise the removal of contaminants and increase the safety of operatives and members of the public. All products need to have demonstrated virucidal efficacy under BS EN 14476 conditions and be safe to handle and suitable for use on all common hard surfaces.
Hand hygiene is the second battle to address if we hope to win the war against contamination. Much focus has been on the use of alcohol hand-sanitiser, however if incorrectly used these products can provide a false sense of security. The recent WHO report1 commented on the importance of hand washing using soap and water as well as stating that: “handwashing is a greater protective barrier to infection than wearing disposable gloves”. The report goes on to comment that “Hand sanitizers can be used as an additional measure but should not replace handwashing”.
Hand washing does need to be effective however, and it is easy to miss certain areas. Continual reminders to staff of how to wash hands properly is important to avoid complacency. Whilst alcohol hand-sanitisers have a role to play in ensuring our safety during the current outbreak, when there is no other alternative, it is the practice of effective hand washing that is critical using a properly formulated product such as Hand Soap from Christeyns UK.
Information and search results pertaining to COVID-19 will without doubt move forward and guided by colleagues at Christeyns, Oscrete will continue to monitor developments and issue further guidance to its customers as the situation changes, or new technologies become available. The team are available to offer advice on the best solution to suit specific needs to assist in the protection of both employees and customers.
1 WHO reference number: WHO/2019-nCoV/Food_Safety/2020.1
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