It’s critical to recognise that we all share the responsibility for minimising infection and contamination in the workplace. Now everyone has a role to play supporting the cleanliness and the prevention of spreading infection in the ‘new normal’.
Whilst the role of the cleaning operative remains key, certainly with far more focus than pre-pandemic, it is vital that robust training programmes are cascaded through the cleaning workforce – and to all staff.
Office users will need to differentiate between their personal space and shared spaces, as these carry different levels of risk. Additionally, this will depend on the building itself and the number of colleagues on site.
Personal space can be categorised as the area that only we have direct contact with, our desk, pedestal, drawers and chair. Remember the key touchpoints in your own workspace though, telephones, keyboards, computers, calculators. Make sure to be clear - are these dedicated to your personal workspace or shared?
There is, however, far more shared workspace – such as reception, the stairway, lift, corridors, meeting rooms, washrooms and kitchenette. If you think for a moment how many contact points you would touch just on the way to your desk? The new normal will see less densely populated areas. However, key contact points are still the areas of greatest risk for the transmission of bacteria. Everyone must be aware of this.
Building users can stay safe by:
- Being aware of the key touchpoints, particularly in shared areas;
- Washing hands properly after contact with these key points – drying your hands thoroughly is an important factor for infection prevention; and
- Using a tissue, paper towel or wipe as a barrier between common touchpoints and skin contact to prevent spreading contamination.
Everyone must play their part. We must all take responsibility by following simple steps to prevent the spread of contamination.
Caroline Stanley, head of marketing UK & Ireland at Kimberly-Clark Professional