As highlighted by the Victorian State Government’s Better Health Channel, employers are obliged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 to provide a safe workplace for their employees, including the provision of adequate infection control procedures and the right equipment and training to ensure operator safety.
The importance of protecting employees against the risk of infection has never been more pronounced, as we collectively face the Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. Adequate floor cleaning and disinfection practices are a critical aspect of any infection control program to minimise the risk of cross-contamination. But what measures can be taken to protect those tasked with floor cleaning at your facility?
We collated the expertise within our team to bring you 3 simple steps you can implement to optimise operator safety and avoid the risk of contamination during floor cleaning at your facility.
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Step 1. Wear Appropriate PPE
SafeWork Australia defines Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, as anything used or worn to minimise risk to workers’ health and safety.
For your usual daily cleaning, there are no specific operator safety PPE requirements when using a floor sweeper or a scrubbing machine. However, when handling chemical solutions, emptying the waste hopper or waste water tank or cleaning the machine itself, extra care should be taken to avoid exposure. Conquest recommend wearing gloves and eye protection as the minimum. Where there is a known risk of infection at a site, full kit PPE including coveralls and face/breathing protection should also be factored for the operator’s protection.
Step 2. Clean and Disinfect Your Equipment
It’s logical that cleaning and disinfecting all hard surfaces, including the floors at your facility, will minimise the risk of cross-contamination. However, did you stop to think about the risks to operators using unclean or unhygienic cleaning equipment? Virus or bacteria-casing microorganisms are readily transferred to frequently touched surfaces such as the controls and seat belts. Contaminants can also be spread further by floor-engaging components and tyres.
Conquest recommend the following regime for cleaning and disinfecting your floor cleaning equipment after each use:
Clean and disinfect all high-touch surfaces such as operator controls, cabin handles and/or seat belts. Use an alcohol-based wipe around electronic components to avoid the risk of moisture damage. Other surfaces, such as seat belts and foot wells, may be sprayed with a disinfectant solution. Allow to air dry.
Remove ground-engaging components such as the scrubber squeegee blades, scrubber pads/brushes, or sweeper brooms. Clean and disinfect, and allow to air dry.
Clean and disinfect the wheels with a spray solution, and allow to air dry.
If applicable, clean and disinfect the battery charger or dock and power point with an alcohol based wipe and allow to air dry.
When empty, clean and rinse the scrubber recovery tank or sweeper waste hopper. Disinfect with a spray disinfectant solution. Leave the lid off and allow to air dry.To combat the COVID-19 virus, Conquest recommend using a hospital grade disinfectant solution such as AP439 Biosan. Contact us for details.
WARNING: ALWAYS FOLLOW THE MIXING RATIO AND USAGE INSTRUCTIONS AS MARKED ON THE DISINFECTANT LABEL. FOR OPERATOR SAFETY, PLEASE ENSURE ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS AND CHARGERS ARE COMPLETELY DRY BEFORE USE.
Step 3. Regular Machine Servicing and Maintenance
Floor cleaning equipment is designed and engineered with a specific purpose in mind. When maintained and serviced according to manufacturer recommendations, your floor cleaning equipment will continue to deliver results time and time again, and in doing so promotes a clean and safe workplace for employees.
However, failing to appropriately maintain your equipment may lead to premature deterioration and even create new safety risks. For scrubbers, this may present in the ineffective collection of contaminated and slippery waste water. Or, for a floor sweeper, you may find your machine begins to kick up hazardous airborne dust.
The good news is that both of these challenges – and more – are entirely preventable. Regular servicing and maintenance allows you to achieve the greatest productivity and results from your machine, and in doing so you avoid potential WHS risks. It’s win:win!
We’re here to help
Conquest offer an innovative range of commercial and industrial floor scrubbers and sweepers. We work with you to tailor high-quality package solutions with everything you need to clean and disinfect even the most challenging hard floor surfaces – with safety at the forefront of our recommendations.
Read more about how we are making is easy for customers to work with us during the challenges of the time.
Contact us for a free consultation with one of our expert team and we will fully tailor a hard floor cleaning and disinfection recommendation, that meets your WHS and infection control objectives.