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February 26, 2021

5 Steps to ensure cleanliness and hygiene in your workplace

Keeping your workplace clean is fundamental to keep both your employees and customers safe.

To do so, you should make sure all areas and frequently touched surfaces and objects are kept clean and your employees and guests follow clear hygiene guidelines.

Here you find five steps you can follow to ensure cleanliness and hygiene in your workspace. You should adapt these steps to your specific situation and try to make them procedural, implementing them in your daily routine.

1. Pre-opening check

As your workplace might have been closed for a longer period than usual, before reopening, you should first conduct a general assessment of the cleaning conditions of the workplace before putting in place covid-specific hygiene standards.

  • Tips:
  • 1. Check the cleanliness conditions of the workplace: if needed, conduct a deep and thorough cleansing with your usual cleaning products.
  • 2. Check your ventilation system: make sure your ventilation system works properly and if needed, service or adjust it. You can search for advice from your heating, ventilation and air conditioning adviser.

2. Keep your workplace clean

As COVID-19 can survive for up to three days on surfaces, it is crucial to increase how often and thoroughly you clean all areas of your workspace, including areas you don't normally clean. You should conduct a deep clean of all frequently touched surfaces at least once a day as well as periodic cleaning at different times throughout the day.

  • Tips:
  • 1. Clean more frequently: enhance your regular cleaning plans, by cleaning work areas and common areas (toilets, reception, changing rooms, corridors and lifts), as well as equipment between uses.
  • 2. Identify frequently touched surfaces: clean periodically surfaces that are touched regularly. This includes, for example: tables, chairs, platforms, workstations, door and window handles, rails, switches, monitors, phones, control pads, monitors, cash desks and self-checkout.
  • 3. Reduce the need for cleaning: reducing people's contact with surfaces is more efficient than cleaning once contact has taken place. Think about ways to reduce people's need to touch surfaces and objects. For example, you can keep doors open to avoid the need to touch handles, reduce non-essential equipment to reduce the amount that needs to be cleaned.
  • 4. Clear workspaces after every shift: make sure to remove waste and belongings from the work area after every shift. If you are clearing after a suspected case of COVID-19 refer to the government guidelines.
  • 5. Provide extra non-recycling bins: use them to dispose of PPE (e.g. of single-use face coverings, face shield, gloves, etc.) for both employees and customers. To dispose of PPE, you can follow specific guidance.
  • 6. If you are a food business, you should further enhance your food safety and hygiene standards, especially if you are implementing takeaway and delivery services. 
  • You can refer to the specific guidance on the Bromley council website.

3. Provide hygiene and sanitation of facilities

You should ensure employees keep good hygiene standards through the working day, as well as invite customers to stick to hygiene standards.

  • Tips:
  • 1. Provide personal hygiene guidelines: use signs and posters as reminders of hygiene practices, such as good hand-washing technique (e.g. increase hand-washing length and frequency), coughing or sneezing into elbow/tissues and how to bin tissues safely.
  • 2. Provide hand-washing/sanitation facilities: install hand-washing facilities at entry/exit points and, if not possible, provide hand sanitiser. Consider adding extra hand-washing facilities/sanitising stations across the workplace to encourage people to wash their hands more frequently.
  • 3. Set hygiene standards for toilets: develop a specific plan to keep toilets clean, increasing the frequency of cleanings. Provide more waste facilities and empty bins more frequently, identifying how and when this will happen during the day. Place signs and posters to increase awareness of correct hand-washing technique, favour paper towels or hand dryers.

4. Keep customers fitting rooms safe

Closed spaces, such as customers fitting rooms, should be cleaned and sanitised after every use to minimise the risk of infection.

  • Tips:
  • 1. Operate fitting rooms safely: fitting rooms should be closed wherever possible. Where fitting rooms are essential, they should be cleaned between each use. Customers should be reminded to use fitting rooms responsibly, wearing a mask and minimising the time spent inside.
  • 2. Limit contacts and manage tried on clothes safely: try to limit contact between customers and employees by suspending fitting assistance. Create procedures to manage clothes that have been tried on.
  • 3. Develop alternatives to fitting rooms: you could consider changing the return policy for clothes, increasing the time for returning clothes so that customers can try them safely at home.

5. Handle merchandise safely

Together with frequent cleaning of surfaces, reducing contact with merchandise and goods is crucial to reduce the risk of transmission. Ensuring the handling of goods is kept minimal and merchandise is cleaned frequently is key to enhance both customers' and employees' safety.

  • Tips:
  • 1. Limit the handling of goods: you can reduce the handling of goods by using alternative display methods, new signage and increase the cleaning of high touch merchandise. Encourage customers to handle only what they need and to sanitise their hands frequently.
  • 2. Use protective coverings: for large items that may require customer testing/use (e.g. furniture, beds, seats), place protective coverings on and ensure frequent cleaning of these coverings between uses. Train your staff to safely assist customers with handling large-item purchases.
  • 3. Set up picking-up and dropping-off collection points: this will remove the need to pass goods hand-to-hand. you can schedule times for customers to collect merchandise to reduce unnecessary contact, putting in place a queuing system in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Dropping-off points can be used to allow customers to return goods.