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Take That, New Normal!

Our world continues to change, and janitorial service providers must change too.  The new normal appears to be here to stay, while not yet having found its final resting place. In northern Colorado, we are fortunate to continue to do better than many areas with the spread of the coronavirus.  Much attention is given to distancing, wearing face masks, and washing our hands, as there should be. As for workplaces, people either must be at their place of work everyday or they are starting to slowly come back to their office. That is why it is important that workplace environments must be optimized for health and safety and professional commercial cleaners are front and center in those efforts.

Enhanced disinfecting protocols must be employed by an industry that can be slow to change.  Go to the janitor closet in your facility.  Is there an upright vacuum and an old dirty string mop sitting in a dirty mop bucket?  If so, your commercial cleaners may be a bit behind in offering the latest in janitorial cleaning.  To get more of a sense about their understanding of COVID-19 and what their role should be, have a conversation and ask them a few questions about the new normal in workplace maintenance and safety during this pandemic:

  • Are you offering any new services or products as a result of adjusting to the threat and impacts of COVID-19?
    • Look for answers that include:
      • Enhanced disinfecting services including proactive treatments and remediation
      • Brand name hand sanitizer products
      • Anti-microbial hand soap
      • Quick contact-time surface disinfecting wipes
    • Have you purchased any new or special supplies or equipment to battle the threat of COVID-19?
      • Look for answers that include:
        • Electrostatic spray disinfecting equipment
        • EPA List N registered disinfectant chemicals from reputable manufacturers
        • Increased supplies of PPE such as gloves (anticipated shortage), eye protection, masks, and hazmat suits (current shortage)
      • What are your disinfecting and other protocols for…?
        • Everyday janitorial cleaning
          • Current contracts and specifications may need to be re-visited to allow for greater emphasis on daily disinfecting
          • Many touchpoints in workplace settings are not feasible for proper disinfecting without the use of special equipment
        • Pro-active disinfecting treatments
          • Weekly or better workplace disinfecting treatments using special equipment and EPA registered disinfectant chemicals
        • Post confirmed COVID-19 cases
          • Immediately vacate the building or facility, air out if possible, and let sit for up to 36 hours
          • Thoroughly treat with special equipment and EPA List N registered disinfectant chemicals following manufacturer instructions for contact/dwell time.
        • What are you doing differently in our building to keep our people healthy and safe?
          • Let’s start with an understanding of what touchpoint surfaces are being disinfected now and discuss whether your agreement should be amended or modified to allow for more disinfecting of high touchpoint surfaces
          • We have updated our initial onboarding training modules for new hires to include a deeper coverage of disinfecting and COVID-19.
          • We have switched chemicals that were not registered with the EPA as effective against COVID-19 to chemicals that are approved by the EPA and included on their List N.
          • We have provided our current employees with refresher and updated disinfecting training ensuring complete understanding of touchpoint surfaces and disinfecting against COVID-19.
        • What chemicals are you using in our facility for disinfecting? Can you send me the EPA registration number so we can verify they are effective against COVID-19?
          • Chemicals can be checked here. The names may appear different than the product label but matching the EPA List N registration number here will provide proper verification:
          • Do you have a plan in place if one of your employees who works in our building is diagnosed with COVID-19?
            • If your janitorial service provider employs someone assigned to clean your building who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should be informed immediately of all relevant tracing details and they should provide a full disinfecting treatment at no charge to you.
          • Do you have a plan in place if we call to inform you that one of our employees has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
            • Contact your commercial cleaning contractor immediately upon learning that one of your onsite staff has been officially diagnosed. Expect to hear a recommendation to vacate the building immediately, air out if possible, let sit for 24 – 36 hours, change and upgrade HVAC air filters, and fully disinfect all surfaces.
          • Have you done any extra/special training of your employees regarding new janitorial cleaning protocols?
            • We have updated our initial training modules for new employees and provided refresher trainings for current employees to ensure all staff is up to date.
          • Are you suffering any supply chain interruptions that threaten your ability to keep our facility clean and safe? What are you doing to compensate?
            • There have been and/or continue to be supply chain disruptions for these products:
              • EPA List N approved disinfectants
              • Protective gloves, nitrile
              • Masks
              • Brand name hand sanitizer products
              • Surface disinfecting wipes
              • Full disposable hazmat suits
              • Electrostatic spray disinfecting equipment
            • Procurement of these supplies has required we broaden our supplier pool and place multiple orders without ship dates.
            • Stockpiling of certain supplies and products may be required to ensure uninterrupted service.

The janitorial industry is not well known for its early and regular adoption of advancements in cleaning for health, but Let it Shine is!  We are a knowledgeable resource for the workplace providers in our communities and we are here to help guide you as you navigate these complex issues.  Employee health and safety in the workplace has risen in importance and we as cleaners are on the frontlines doing the work that helps to keep work environments safe and productive.  If you have any questions about enhanced disinfecting and pro-active treatments to combat COVID-19, contact us today at 970.223.2222 or info@letitshineprocleaning.com.