TNT PROTOCOL TO ENACT BEFORE REOPENING
Starting Friday May 15, 2020 NY businesses in specific sectors and logistics sectors can reopen if they adhere to precautions issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In addition to these guidelines, employers should also adhere to recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to confirm that they are doing all they can to protect their employees and customers.
Here are 3 measures employers can take to prepare for a safe reopening:
- Encourage Respiratory Etiquette and Hand Hygiene
Provide your employees and customers with the resources they need to keep themselves and others safe. Even the smallest acts, like placing posters and providing hand sanitizer throughout the workplace, will have a major impact on the health of your business.
The CDC and OSHA outline the following guidelines to support respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene for employees, customers and worksite visitors:
- Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles.
- Provide soap and water in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained.
- Place hand sanitizers in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene.
- Place posters that encourage hand hygiene to help stop the spread at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen
- Discourage handshaking – encourage the use of other non-contact methods of greeting
- Direct employees to visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information
- Perform Routine Cleaning and Disinfection
Even with the resources available, not everyone will adhere to the rules. To have some control over the cleanliness of your facility, routine environmental cleaning and disinfection are highly recommended.
The CDC and OSHA outline the following guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting to protect employees, customers, worksite visitors and the public:
- Routinely clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails and doorknobs.
- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products
- Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
- Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, other work tools and equipment) can be wiped down by employees before each use. To disinfect, use products that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface
- Contemplate Professional Disinfecting Services
How you handle your facility’s cleaning protocols is up to you. You can either pay for these services, hold your staff responsible, or a combination of both.
Unless you are a medical facility, your existing service schedules are most likely not sufficient to handle our current circumstances.
Disinfection of high touch surfaces found in offices and commercial businesses must be performed daily now to prevent the spread of possible infection. Review your service schedules with your provider and make updates where necessary.
There are clear advantages to having professionals perform routine disinfection:
- Professionals have access to the disinfectants recommended by the EPA
- Professionals are trained on the proper use of disinfectants and equipment to prevent cross contamination
- Professionals have infection prevention protocols in place
A cost effective method of disinfection that we highly recommend. It is much quicker than standard wiping and even more effective because it ensures 360-degree coverage. It works as both a preventative and reactive measure against the Novel Coronavirus.
GET A HEAD START
Starting Friday May 15, 2020, a select group of New York businesses will be allowed to reopen. Even if your business is not on the list, it is never too early to prepare.
- Promote respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.
- Perform routine cleaning and disinfection.
- Consider professional disinfecting services.
Make Sure that you have the resources outlined by the CDC and that your cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting protocols are in order prior to employees being invited back to work.
"Beware" Of The Competitions Bait and Switch of Electrostatic Disinfection!
With the emergence of COVID-19, people have been looking to profit off the fear of contamination. One of the methods that companies have been using is the substitution of electrostatic disinfection devices with fogger/ sprayer devices.
This is not only dishonest and unethical it is also not an effective method for disinfection of spaces occupied by people on a daily basis in an indoor environment.
Even if you put the same disinfectants in both an electrostatic device and a fogger, the technology and the results are quite different.
Sprayers and Foggers
The sprayers that are popping up all over the internet and social media are very low cost and are designed to spread pesticides in a household garden.
An example of a more popular one is the Ryobi One Mister Fogger seen below. These are intended for outdoor use. Please read the description from the manufacture:
Protect your yard with the RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Defender Multi-Purpose Fogger. The lightweight and portable design make it easy to carry throughout your yard and starts immediately with the push of a button. Ideal for spraying fungicides, herbicides and insecticides this sprayer can cover up to 10,000 sq. ft. per charge. The atomized particles reach up to 15 ft. settling in all those hard to reach spaces. Guard your yard from bugs, mold or weeds with the RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Defender Multi-Purpose Fogger, backed by a 3-year warranty.
- Sprays over 10,000 sq. ft. per charge
- Atomized particles reach up to 15 ft. away
- Battery power for portability in your yard or campsite
- Instant hassle-free starting
- Lightweight design for extended use
- 0.5 Gal. chemical tank for fungicide, herbicide, and insecticide
- Compatible with over 125 ONE+ tools
- Includes: 18-Volt ONE+ multi-purpose fogger, 18-Volt 2.0 Ah battery, 18-Volt compact charger and operators manuals
They are in essence a trigger sprayer powered by a battery that soaks areas that are exposed with whatever pesticide being used. While that may work for a garden, it is not designed to work effectively in an office environment.
With this type of sprayer, the user must soak all surfaces for a minimum of 5 minutes for the disinfection to work effectively. Using this method, it would be faster to just terminally clean the entire work area.
Before the onset of this epidemic, we have been using electrostatic disinfection to disinfect high-touch surfaces and areas.
The effectiveness of disinfection using electrostatic disinfection is dependent on the device used. The device charges the disinfectant with a positive charge. This gives the disinfectant the magnetic ability to cover surfaces and objects in a 360-degree range, while providing touchless disinfection.
While we are seeing posted claims that disinfectants used in the inferior and misused garden sprayers kill the COVID-19 virus, the sprayers do not provide disinfection to surfaces due to their lack of ability to positively charge the disinfectant so that it will adhere to surfaces and objects. They are selling the disinfectant’s kill claim, but overlooking the ability to apply the disinfectant.
See the studies cited below from the EPA that were conducted on the disinfection of reusable decontaminated PPE and pay close attention to the amount of water runoff after using a sprayer vs. an electrostatic disinfection device.
This data alone proves that the use of a sprayer/fogger is not a substitute for electrostatic disinfection devices.
Archer, J., M. Karnik, A. Touati, D. Aslett, AND A. Abdel-Hady. Evaluation of Electrostatic Sprayers for Use in a Personnel Decontamination Line Protocol for Biological Contamination Incident Response Operations. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-18/283, 2018.
Disinfection & Sterilization Guidelines. (2019, May 24). Retrieved April 10, 2020.