Environmental Services Blindspots Learned from COVID-19

Environmental Services Blindspots Learned from COVID-19 In the aftermath of COVID-19, and especially the virus’s spike through the El Paso region, businesses are critically focused on doing everything they can to provide safe environments for employees and customers, in addition to providing the best goods and services. But some sanitation efforts can have more impact than others. El Paso business owners and facility managers are investing more money, more time, and more sweat equity to make sure their processes are working. But without having experience (like 52 years, for example) and an expertise in commercial cleaning and disinfection, results aren’t always as effective as they could be.

Here are three areas where El Paso’s facility managers and business owners could be missing the mark with the best intentions.

1. Overdoing it

Obviously, more cleaning and disinfecting must happen as long as COVID-19 is still hanging around, and as more variants make their way through the El Paso population. It makes sense to raise the productivity level and the visibility of cleaning staff so that guests and employees are often seeing surface areas get wiped down, especially for the peace of mind of knowing that people are on-site, making health and safety a priority. But in actuality, more product applications are not always better. Using too much of a cleaning agent can cause adverse effects and can waste resources.

Many cleaning agents can irritate the eyes or throat, or cause headaches and other health problems if they’re used too often or in under-ventilated areas. It’s far safer to use vigorous cleaning agents at times when few people are around and only with the proper training and protective supplies. Regular disinfection throughout the day can utilize less abrasive, yet effective products. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of Design for the Environment (DfE) certified disinfectants that are safe and effective. Also listed are cleaning products (products for removing dirt and stains) that meet its safer choice requirements if you’re looking to remove dirt and grime while minimizing pollutants. The point is, more is not always better and it’s important to know what methods are going to meet your cleaning and disinfection goals without going over the line.

2. Overlooking it

Surfaces get all the attention when it comes to most cleaning processes, but air-quality is just important for reducing virus threats. SARS-CoV-2, the strain of Corona Virus that causes COVID-19, can remain on surfaces for minutes to days between wipe downs, but like other airborne viruses, you’re more likely to breathe it in than transmit it to someone else through contact with a contaminated surface. El Paso business owners and facility managers can improve safety in their establishments by cycling their air more frequently and by performing air treatments. Jani-King of El Paso can recommend air treatments using state of the art EPA approved equipment that ensures effectiveness and can provide real peace of mind for everyone inside the establishment.

Another overlooked area is all the devices used throughout a place of business. Whether it’s your team or your customers using them, it’s the devices like phones, cash registers, keyboards, copiers, handheld tablets, and even staplers that see a lot of fingers and not enough sanitation wipes. It’s difficult to disinfect these guys often enough because they’re always in use. It can help to provide sanitation wipes to employees and help them remember to wipe devices they use personally or those devices near their workspace. Outsourced cleaning staff can oversee device wipe downs to make sure they occur regularly and without disrupting workflow. Air treatments can also help keep these contamination sources in check as the ionized mist sticks to all areas of equipment and anything it touches, so it can reach places that a wipe can’t.

3. Overconfidence in Personnel

Every cleaning and disinfection plan would work fairly well if everyone was one hundred percent reliable and perfect at their role in the process. The reality is, no one is perfect and no single person is 100% reliable all the time. But Jani-King of El Paso knows that to achieve excellence takes a lot of training, quality assurance measures, and technical preparedness to make sure that the job of cleaning and disinfection gets done right every time.

Even if training happens in El Paso’s small businesses, it might not be happening often enough. It can be hard to pull cleaning staff off the job to spend time on training, especially in the post-COVID climate when more disinfection work has to be done. But if training doesn’t happen regularly, things like staff turnover and quick changes to protocols (without enough explanation) can break down the integrity of your process. There’s also just a LOT to learn. From chemical safety to application techniques, to new innovations in chemical and biological effectiveness… It simply takes much more than one educational meeting for staff to truly absorb this kind of knowledge.

On top of that, even highly trained cleaning technicians can make mistakes, so an airtight quality assurance procedure is a must. Jani-King of El Paso uses a technology-driven inspection process that collects all the data points needed to truly deem a job done effectively. If a mistake is spotted, it’s corrected as soon as possible. Continuity doesn’t happen because people are perfect, it happens because systems are.

Our Question

Do any of these cleaning and disinfecting pitfalls need more attention at your establishment? Perhaps it’s time to sharpen your processes, which could mean outsourcing your cleaning and disinfecting needs to an experienced team. Less stress and more effective coverage could set the stage for many productive years ahead. Call Jani-King of El Paso to learn more.

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