Office Disinfection 101: Equipment and methods for effective disinfection

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Office disinfection

These days, everyone knows you can’t leave office health and safety to chance. That’s a recipe for disaster.

However, making a plan can be complicated. The size of your office, the hours it’s open, its age, layout, equipment and more all have an impact on the tools you need and the techniques you employ. To make the planning process easy, we’ve broken it down into four easy steps.

1. Choose a point of contact

First, choose an authority for office cleaning and sanitizing procedures. This person should be well versed in any chemicals, equipment, procedures and policies your office implements. Every staff person needs to know who this point person is. Everyone should also know how to contact them with questions or concerns.

2. Define your disinfection needs

Next, you’ll need to do a little research to ensure you’re picking the right disinfecting and sanitizing tools for your office. For more in-depth coverage of this step, go to our How to choose a sprayer blog post.

office meeting room

The most important questions you need to answer about your office space are:

  • How much needs to be disinfected each day?
    • You can save time and resources by investing in higher volume, more efficient tools for larger spaces.
  • Who is responsible for disinfecting and sanitizing?
    • If every staff person is responsible for disinfecting their own workspace and the various surfaces they interact with, multiple small and highly portable sanitizers would be ideal.
    • If a professional cleaning staff is responsible for most or all of the disinfection process, then a single high-volume sanitizer will get the job done fast.
  • What needs to be disinfected?
    • If the answer is mostly hard, non-porous surfaces like doorknobs, desks, tables, etc., then look for hospital-grade disinfectants to get the fastest and most powerful results.
    • Wipe electronics by hand to prevent liquid from reaching sensitive circuits.
    • Fabric surfaces such as carpets and upholstery are some of the most demanding surfaces to disinfect. What can’t be removed or closed off should be sprayed down with a fabric-safe disinfectant, but pathogens can still be trapped in the stuffing and fibers.
  • Is there healthy air flow?
    • Open office windows whenever possible. External air flow is one of the best methods for dispersing aerosolized viruses and bacteria.
    • If windows either aren’t present or aren’t evenly distributed, high-quality air purifiers do an exceptional job of stripping pathogens from the air.
  • When will disinfection be happening?
    • If your office operates on a 9-to-5 schedule, you can dedicate time before and after operating hours to a thorough disinfection. This should still be paired with regular disinfection throughout the day as staff interact with high-touch surfaces.
    • If your office is more of a 24/7 operation, it may be hard to dedicate a block of time to cleaning without disrupting people’s work. Such operations should place greater emphasis on frequent small-scale disinfections throughout the day.

3. Choose your tools

Once you’ve mapped out the needs of your office, it’s time to choose your cleaning and disinfection tools. You’ll need to consider chemicals and sanitizing equipment.

Chemicals

The EPA List N covers every disinfecting chemical approved to kill COVID-19. Depending on the surfaces you need to disinfect, you may need one or more chemicals. Some of the most common active ingredients to look for are:

  • Quaternary ammonium (AKA quats)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol)
  • Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)
  • Sodium hypochlorite (bleach)
  • Phenolic

Check out our How do you choose a disinfectant? blog to learn more about each of these chemicals.

Sanitizing equipment

Look for sanitizing equipment that suits your time, space and staffing requirements. For an in-depth analysis of the most common sanitizing options, check out our Pros and cons of 5 common sanitizing solutions blog.

For most offices, these tools will be a good fit:

  • Individual disinfection kits – For disinfecting throughout the day and disinfecting individual workstations. Disinfect workstations AT LEAST once before and after each user.
  • Electrostatic sprayers – Handheld and backpack-style electrostatic sprayers can be used for spot disinfection throughout the day, as well as for total-office disinfection.
  • Airless sprayers – Cart mounted to make transport and re-positioning easier. Best suited for large, uncomplicated spaces.
  • Air purifiers – For offices with insufficient or inconsistent ventilation.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate

The final step in establishing your office disinfection plan is to communicate the plan clearly and consistently to all staff. Ideally in multiple formats, such as email and breakroom posters.

Everyone should know:

  • The point of contact.
  • How to reach out with questions or concerns.
  • Where disinfection equipment is located.
  • How to properly use all disinfection equipment.
  • What PPE is required when operating disinfection equipment.
  • How often their personal workstation and/or shared spaces should be disinfected.
  • If and when cleaning staff will be conducting any disinfections.
  • Resources that can provide more information.

The experts at EnviroPro Solutions are ready to help you create YOUR plan for office safety. Let’s get the conversation started at [email protected] or by phone at 763-296-4449.