Fend off the Flu in Your Facilities Through Strategic Disinfecting
Like the always changing flu virus, we need to constantly re-evaluate how we disinfect facilities to counteract the high prevalence of the virus between the months of October and February.
General cleanliness standards are a must for keeping workers safe, but there are particular methods that can prevent the likelihood of a flu virus spreading. Let’s explore some options for your facilities during flu season.
The Difference Between Disinfecting and Cleaning
Although often used interchangeably, to disinfect and to clean both have different implications as we approach flu season. In other words, to “clean” generally involves removing an external soil for the sake of external appearance in your facility. General purpose cleaning is extremely important and is often the first step for preparing for flu season.
Where disinfectant comes in handy for flu season is in its ability to kill bacteria. This is the crux of preparing for flu season: to remove bacteria means to actively target the bacteria that comprise a virus – like influenza.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes a disinfectant as a chemical agent that will “destroy or irreversibly inactivate infectious fungi,” leading to a targeted approach that minimizes the spread of pathogens.
For disinfecting, sanitizing, and cleaning needs, it pays to have professionals who can offer the comprehensive types of janitorial services needed to prepare for flu season.
Strategies to Reduce Flu Incidence
Sometimes the flu is unavoidable. You can get your flu shots and adhere to the strictest cleanliness standards in your facility, but it can slip through your defenses.With annual flu costs resulting in an annual $10.4 billion price tag, the CDC reminds us all that it definitely makes sense to call attention to preventing the virus where possible.
Some strategies for reducing flu incidence in your facility come in a variety of ways:
Encourage employees who have signs of the flu to stay home.
Remind employees and staff the importance of frequent hand washing practices during flu season. Just a simple meeting, email, or company wide announcement can function as a timely reminder.
Encourage coughing practices that limit the spread of aerosol – most of which could result in transmission of flu bacteria.
Adopt staffing procedures and analytics to ensure that enough janitorial workers are present to combat high traffic areas.
Clean high-touch surface areas regularly – drinking fountains, keyboards, door handles, and table tops.
Utilize a qualified janitorial crew to use the right amount of general purpose cleaner and disinfectant products for minimizing potential problem areas.
With a proactive plan and the professional know-how, the severity of the flu can be lessened with these smart practices.
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There are more things to keep in mind to reduce the impact of flu season. It’s up to you and your staff to educate everyone in your facility and get everyone working together to fight the spread of bacteria. Complying with cleanliness regulations not only will improve the health of everyone in your facility, but will also save money!