By Dale Jones, Head of Technical Development at Alcumus SafeContractor
With a phased return to work underway, organisations will need to consider their health and safety cleaning obligations to make their workplace safe for staff to return to.
As expectation grows that the impending government announcement over the weekend is likely to see more businesses come back online, we are regularly being asked questions about the need to undertake deep cleaning before reopening.
Under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations there is legal duty to ensure that all premises and workplaces are kept sufficiently clean. Although there is no real legal definition of what constitutes a deep clean, there is reference within HSE guidance for the need for high standards of cleanliness for controlling exposure to substances hazardous to health.
The type and level of cleaning required prior to re-occupying your premises will depend on your risk assessment for your particular site and/or the activities undertaken.
There are number of things to consider, for some businesses the workplace may have been closed down for a number of weeks, so you will need to consider whether anyone has periodically gained access to the facility i.e. to undertake maintenance or security related tasks, are you aware of any of your workforce coming down with COVID-19 and had access to the facility during the lockdown period or simply when was the last time it was thoroughly cleaned.
Some businesses are seeing it as best practice to deep clean their premises, to ensure everything is as clean and safe as possible prior to bringing back the team. It is also a very visual reminder to the workforce that as a business you are taking safety seriously.
If you are looking to use your own workforce to undertake the cleaning process, ensure you follow the government guidance COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings. The guidance covers topics such as personal protective equipment, surfaces to focus on, what chemicals / substances to use and what to consider before placing used cleaning equipment in the waste.
Alcumus SafeContractor have over a thousand accredited cleaning contractors who have already demonstrated that they have the relevant H&S management systems to undertake cleaning in commercial and industrial environments safely. To find out more about accessing our approved contractor portal with over 33,000 contractors, email our Client Services team.
For organisations currently working in accordance with government guidelines, Alcumus Sypol have created free, downloadable COSHH risk assessments which provide important information about how to effectively control exposure to coronavirus in high risk working environments.
You can also register for the free webinar delivered by COSHH expert Mike Harris, on COVID-19, COSHH and how to clean your workplace safely, taking place at 10am on Tuesday 19th May.
For organisations hoping to return to work soon and eager to learn more about safely reintroducing their people to work, Alcumus PSM have created a free COVID-19 Return to Work Guidance pack and two-part webinar series covering the practical application of how to get your people back to work safely and how to make your business as productive as it can be.
Find out more about how we can help your business survive, then thrive with our full range of Alcumus Group COVID-19 solutions.