Getting back to work: how do we do it safely?
In the world’s new normal, organizations will be required to not only improve cleaning and hygiene practices but to prove in an audit that they are following these practices in a regular, timely manner.
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Our blog post series reviews five key areas employers must consider in order to safely open for business and ensure operational continuity. In our previous post, we talked about ensuring clean operation by employees. This week, we’ll focus on the second consideration: how preventive maintenance can help guard against contamination.
Consideration #2: Updating preventive maintenance schedules
Protocols to ensure a clean and safe work environment are built on preventive maintenance schedules. So it’s important that these schedules have been updated to reflect new and quickly changing requirements.
For example, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has issued new guidelines for flushing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems pre- and post-occupancy, including operating exhaust fans and opening air dampers or windows; disinfecting high-touch areas; and having a water management plan to decrease the risk of bacteria growth in buildings that have been closed or had limited operations.
Once guidelines have been adopted, your organization will need to determine the correct frequency of cleaning tasks and the best way to train employees to comply. The proper use and disposal of protective gear, the use of required disinfectants, and how to maintain distance in tight quarters are just some of the topics you might need to address.
Instead of improving their preventive maintenance practices, some organizations may flirt with the idea of reducing maintenance to save costs in the face of declining activity and revenues. Our eBook, “A safe and clean work environment,” explains why that is a particularly risky idea, especially with an expected surge in demand in the third and fourth quarters of the year.
If you’d like to learn more about updating preventive maintenance schedules plus other topics related to getting back to work safely, we invite you to download the eBook: “Rebuild a safe and compliant workspace.”
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