The reopening of America is a massive endeavor, the success of which depends upon adherence to both personal and public health guidelines. Like most things in life, attitude plays an important part, both in terms of expectations and results.
Pittsburgh business owners and managers will need to harness a positive stance laced with a heavy dose of patience and understanding, as the process cannot be compromised and may take weeks if not months.
True progress will be measured by decreasing infection and hospitalization rates. No Pittsburgh business ever stands alone, as Enviro-Master, a company that has been in continuous operation for more than four decades, is there to help in this time of unprecedented crisis with their superior cleaning and disinfectant services.
Whether the business in question is a school or a public park, re-opening our great country can only be done safely and effectively if all of us move forward with the same agenda. This must include: wearing masks, using wipes and practicing social distancing to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Every American has a personal duty to do his or her part in making sure that the communities in which they live and work are as safe as they can possibly be. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has compiled a list of disinfectant products that have the capacity to combat COVID-19. These fall into three categories; namely, ready-to-use sprays, concentrates and wipes.
The Need For a Specific Reopening Plan
Challenges and fears must be addressed in a cohesive manner both for employees and employers. Specific standards aren’t clearly incised at this time and workers are understandably concerned that their employers may not provide enough protection to stop the spread of the corona virus in the workplace.
In the words of financial advisor, Richard Pelletier: “Employers must take this seriously, and make sure their building is properly cleaned and sanitized, and that they are following social distancing guidelines. The best defense is to do what the government recommends.”
Following the federal, state, tribal, territorial and local guide lines means that employers must enforce increased testing, social distancing and finding an effective way to keep track of how one infected employee may have infected others. All individuals must participate in focusing on maintaining standards for both the work place and the home so that the risks of exposure to COVID-19 are as much reduced as is humanly possible.
Pittsburgh employers should bear in mind four distinct aspects when developing their public health plans; namely, development, implementation, maintenance and whenever necessary, revision. They should be open to seek professional advice and services from the bathroom hygiene experts at Enviro-Master Pittsburgh.
In the words of Bob Duffy, the former lieutenant governor and now the president and CEO of the Greater Rochester, New York Regional Chamber of Commerce: “We get people are getting edgy and want to see everything open quickly.…Businesses must prepare for opening by starting their own plan, which should have four things: provisions for face masks or coverings, social distancing, hand hygiene, and disinfecting.”
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Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) can be very expensive for smaller companies, and in the words of Michael Kracker of Unshackle Upstate:
“It’s a significant cost increase to provide employees with a constant source of PPE and to be disinfecting. To the extent possible, the more assistance the state can provide to small businesses, the better.”
Implementing A Business Plan To Re-Open America
The first step in accomplishing this enormous task is to evaluate the specific workplace in question. This can be done in stages by first determining the types of surfaces and materials that comprise the work area.
Normal routine cleaning might be just fine for most surfaces and objects, but those high touch points, like light switches and doorknobs, for example, require special attention and must be disinfected as well as cleaned. Removing soft and porous materials from high traffic areas, such as area rugs, can be very helpful.
Cleaning vs Disinfection Business Interiors
Determining what needs be be cleaned and what must be disinfected will depend upon a number of factors. For example, Pittsburgh managers of work spaces where children are involved, such as schools, day-care centers and playgrounds, should use disinfectants wisely and sparingly. This means they should not be applied to any item children are likely to put in their mouths, as many are toxic if accidentally ingested. Toys can usually be washed effectively by using soap and water.
Disinfection is a waste of resources when it is applied in outdoor areas such as parks and along sidewalks. Outdoor bars and restaurants may have more stringent disinfecting requirements. Managers must beware of hard surfaces and objects touched by multiple people , which include: handrails, bathroom doors and handles and food condiment bottles (ketchup, mustard, etc).
There is a bit of a let up where pools, spas and water play areas are concerned, since there is no direct evidence that the virus that causes CIVID-19 can spread directly to humans from water. The only problems that could occur would happen if proper operations, maintenance and disinfection applications with either chlorine or bromine were not performed.
Other Work Surfaces That Will Require Routine Disinfection
Surfaces frequently touched by multiple people should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be necessary based on the level of usage. For example, certain surfaces and objects in public spaces, such as shopping carts, should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.
The following list may help to pinpoint trouble spots requiring attention. These are: tables, doorknobs; light switches; countertops; handles; desks; phones; keyboards; toilets; faucets and sinks; gas pump handles; touch screens and ATM machines.
Each Pittsburgh business or facility will have different and specific surfaces and objects that will require either cleaning or disinfection. As a rule of thumb, hard and non-porous surfaces such as glass, metal or plastic, are easier to disinfect than those that are soft and porous.
As long as the latter isn’t frequently touched, these surfaces, which can include area rugs and carpets, should only be cleaned or laundered according to the directions on the item’s label and on the warmest appropriate water setting. Consider the possibility of removing soft and porous materials, such as area rugs and seating, and storing them somewhere temporarily to reduce the challenges of cleaning and disinfecting them.
Any workable plan must include a maintenance strategy with a highly reputable company, such as our hygiene professionals at Enviro-Master. This company’s germicide products were the subject of a 2019 study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiologist from the University of Arizona.
Products were tested in specific work areas; namely, an office break-room, a restroom, and a classroom. Results indicated a 99% reduction in bacteria found in the food preparation area and a 96% decrease in bacteria around the sink countertop. In addition, tests included the effectiveness of Enviro-Master’s Sani-Guard services in the classroom, and after each weekly treatment it was discovered that bacteria levels on the desktops were reduced by 99.2%.
Every business strategy must be flexible and able to withstand adjustments as circumstances change and federal, state and local guidances are often updated.
Safety solutions implemented by work place managers must also include considerations for the safety of the custodial staff and others who may be performing cleaning and disinfecting tasks.
This means providing proper protective equipment (PPE) and also making sure that they know how to use cleaning and disinfecting products effectively. This demands both paying special attention to the specific equipment that may be needed and the manufacturer’s recommendations concerning any additional hazards.
Making long term changes rather than makeshift adjustments to practices and procedures can also help to reduce the risk of exposure to dangerous pathogens. Employers need to re-define their work spaces using a new mind-set.
According to the CDC’s Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19, some practical ideas could include: avoiding porous materials used for seating; leaving those doors leading to and from high traffic areas open, which will decrease the number of people touching them; opening windows whenever possible to improve ventilation and eliminating products that are shared in common areas such as coffee creamer containers.
Enviro-Master and The Power of Clean and Disinfecting
Our top priority is and always has been to create a healthy and happy workplace ambiance for a myriad of diverse industries including: hospitality; schools and colleges; health care facilities; restaurant and food-related services; shopping and apartment complexes and many others. Our extensive array of hygiene products and services geared towards public restrooms, large or small include: deep fixture cleaning, tile and grout deep cleaning; fruit fly and drain control; paper product programs; soaps and sanitizers and air fresheners.
The Sani-Service Deep Cleaning Program
Commercial restroom hygiene is always essential to the success of any commercial enterprise, but in these crucial times, the need for the best products and services out there is magnified many times over.
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Our Sani-Service is not only highly affordable, it can also cut costs for paper products and traditional cleaning supplies. Its benefits surpass just sanitizing and disinfecting, as Sani-Service picks up where the conventional janitorial company leaves off, removing odors and germs by attacking them at the source. Our disease and odor-prevention strategies far exceed the knowledge and tools of the average janitorial staff, and their low cost soaps, paper and cleaning products often offset the price of their cleaning services.
Even the most thorough cleaning is ineffective at eliminating odors and germs in public restrooms. Porcelain fixtures are porous and they absorb disease-bearing pathogens and germs like sponges. It is virtually impossible for commercial cleaning chemicals to remove bacteria from these pores.
These 8 germs and viruses could be lurking in your commercial restroom.
Only Enviro-Master’s Sani-Service can guarantee the total elimination of these latent pathogens. Within this program, all the supplies needed to sanitize a commercial restroom are available for one affordable price. Using a unique sanitizing product, highly trained technicians can treat all porcelain fixtures and effectively remove built-up uric acid and bacteria that has been trapped. Urinals, toilets, and sinks are all treated with a germicidal coating.
In addition, their product also helps to control odor, creating a more pleasant restroom experience. By working in tandem with a company’s janitorial staff and the ambient air care specialists at Air-Scent, the Sani-Service program can guarantee that a public restroom will be truly sanitized, disease-free and pleasant-smelling.
Every American must consider him or herself a responsible citizen with duties to perform when it comes to defeating this virus or a least containing its deadly spread. This includes: practicing social distancing and prevention hygiene, which means frequent washing of hands and wearing a mask or facial covering when out in public. In the words of former Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel: “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you thought you could not do before.”
And if you have never done it before as a Pittsburgh manager of a business facility, consider calling Enviro-Master Pittsburgh. Our experienced teams will help you and your company battle this terrible crisis and take you through to its other side armed with their superior products and services.
Final thought on worry and crisis: Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but never gets you anywhere~~Emma Bombeck.