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June 2020

3 things to consider before re-opening your workplace

Written by Nathalie Leblond
Workplace Hygiene, Hygiene and COVID-19

For most businesses in South Africa, the Coronavirus pandemic is probably the biggest test they have ever faced. While the long-term impact of COVID-19 is uncertain, the lifting and easing of restrictions as we move further into level 3 has given businesses a sense of optimism regarding their re-opening. 

With the health of employees and customers at risk if the correct measures aren’t taken before re-opening, getting employees back to work safely brings many challenges. While social distancing is one of the most important steps in the process, taking the necessary hygiene precautions to protect employees is a close second.

‘The majority of employers (93%) are worried about ensuring that workplace conditions and policies comply with applicable safety and health regulations after lockdown.’  Littler COVID-19 Flash Survey Report, 2020

The pandemic has created an increased awareness of health risks, especially when it comes to hygiene practices. Workplaces have always provided suitable conditions for bacteria and viruses to spread, but in these extraordinary times, combating cross contamination and person to person transmission of germs has never been more important.

With the importance of hygiene front of mind for both returning employees and customers, minimising risk in the ‘new normal’ and preparing for the future will be critical.

Here are three important questions to consider before re-opening your workplace.

1. Has your workplace been disinfected, and how will you keep it clean?

Initial’s disinfection services sanitise touch points, surfaces, equipment and floors with solutions that can kill up to 99.97% of bacteria and viruses. Our qualified technicians work quickly, safely and effectively to deliver a legally compliant service tailored to your business needs.

  • Surface cleaning and disinfecting products – a range of sprays and surface wipes that can kill pathogens and prevent cross-contamination. Surface sanitiser spray for large surface areas and surface wipes provide up to 24-hour protection.
  • Floor care – capturing up to 80% of the microorganisms before they’re spread through your facility, our serviced commercial floor mats can save 14% in costs.

 2. Are there hygiene services in place to ensure good hand hygiene?

Germs and pathogens can spread easily throughout a building – person to person, surface to person or via the air. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they produce airborne droplets that can contaminate surfaces.

Throughout the day, hands that touch these surfaces can transmit germs to other surfaces or directly to other people. Our range of hand-sanitising solutions includes no-touch technology and sanitising consumables that protect your hands for up to 8 hours.

  • Hand washing Solutions – Signature soap dispensers contain silver-ion anti-microbial technology, and are available in a no-touch option for superior hand hygiene. When placed in key hygiene hotspots such as bathrooms, kitchens and food preparation areas, they promote hand washing compliance among employees.
  • Hand-drying Solutions – our range of no-touch paper towel dispensers and electric hand dryers (including the Dyson Airblade V with HEPA filter) reduce the amount of moisture and microorganisms left on the hands after washing, which in turn reduces the risk of re-contamination.
  • Sanitising Solutions – our high-performance hand sanitisers can prevent the spread of germs via hand-to-surface or hand-to-person contact.

3. Is air purification in place for more hygienic air?

The impact of breathing harmful air is not visible to the naked eye, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. The walls, doors and windows that protect us from the elements could also be an entry point for unwanted air pollutants. This could result in indoor air that’s up to five times more polluted than outdoors. Indoor contaminants can be caused by many things, including:

  • how the building is heated
  • poor ventilation
  • damp
  • chemicals in cleaning products
  • if people cook in that space
  • some building materials and furniture

Airborne germs can trigger allergies or spread infection and disease. Our air hygiene solutions are expertly designed to reduce cross-contamination across your facility.

  • InspireAir72 – removes up to 99.97% of airborne particles in large spaces and communal areas, preventing harmful pollutants being inhaled or contaminating surfaces and will be available soon in South Africa.
  • Prozone ideal for use as an ongoing air treatment to combat the impact that unpleasant smells have on staff and visitors, our patented technology uses ozone to eradicate malodours and reduces bacteria in the air in commercial environments, including bathrooms.

Contact us for more information on how Initial can support your business in returning to work and planning for the future.

Nathalie Leblond

Nathalie Leblond

I joined Rentokil Initial South Africa in 2004 as the PA to the MD, and after 6 months maternity leave I re-joined the Company in 2009 as the Marketing Co-ordinator for Rentokil. I'm now the Marketing Communication Manager for Rentokil Initial. I'm still terrified of cockroaches (Americana's only!) but the rest of the creepy crawlies we deal with don't really bug me (see what I did there?), so I guess I'm in the right industry! I am passionate about what we do here at Rentokil Initial and also write for our Hygiene Blog, which can be found at blog.initial.co.za, and our Ambius blog - https://www.ambius.co.za/blog. Life outside of Rentokil Initial mostly revolves around my daughter, who has just turned twelve, and my husband (who is a bit older). I love living in Cape Town and wouldn't trade living here for anywhere else in the world.

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