Creating a safe and healthy indoor space is key to successfully operating your business and ensuring the well-being and safety of workers and building patrons. Even with businesses stepping up their cleaning protocols, and the roll out of the vaccine, people are still more conscious of the spread of germs and illness, and expectations around cleanliness of indoor spaces has risen.
According to research by Open Works, “employees are even more concerned about cleanliness and disinfecting in the workplace now than they were in May 2020,” with one-third of employees saying, “not enough is being done.” The survey goes on to point out that “73% of employees expected their workplace to be cleaned daily,” while 62% of respondents want their “workspace disinfected daily.”
The heightened awareness around the health and cleanliness of indoor spaces is not likely to go away any time soon. Businesses will need to stay on top of daily cleaning routines, meet increased expectations, and address the increased cleaning workload in order to get back to business “as usual.”
The key in tackling these expectations is knowing some of the major sources of contamination. Flooring for example, is one of the largest high touch point areas for most businesses and should not be ignored.
While the focus has largely been on sanitizing and disinfecting places where hands touch common spaces—it is important to note, and imperative to overall building health, the necessity of clean flooring.
Not only do clean floors help spread a positive perception of clean message, but consistently cleaned floors can help reduce the spread of dust particles and contaminants that get brushed back up into the air. Plus, consistently, and reliably cleaning floors can help prolong the life of the actual flooring materials which can help reduce flooring related accidents, due to aged and weathered materials.
There are many things to consider when understanding why floor cleaning is so important to our health, but here are a few:
The EPA points out that dust and pollutants can be carried in from the outdoors on shoes and clothing. These pollutants can contain toxic chemicals depending on where a person has been or the environment around the building.
These contaminants end up resting on surfaces, specifically flooring, and can even be redispersed into the air as people or equipment move throughout a space. This can cause the spread of germs, allergens, and even toxic contaminants that make people sick.
People who are sensitive to dust and allergens have an even harder time focusing and working in places that are not routinely cleaned—this means regular dusting, wiping down surfaces, and cleaning floors.
Keeping communal spaces clean can help improve employee performance as well as productivity by reducing absences related to allergies and illness, saving companies money.
A recent article published by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) notes “Flooring surfaces are in-fact high-touch surfaces and need to be included in routine cleaning as well as disinfection and sanitization protocols.”
The IICRC goes on to point out that due to the severity of some contaminants that can be tracked into indoor spaces, it is imperative that floor cleaning routines include the proper vacuuming, scrubbing, and use of sanitizers and disinfectants specified for each flooring type, in order to help stop the spread of germs and pollutants throughout a space.
Using innovative and intelligent floor cleaning equipment like ICE Robotics floor scrubbers and sweepers can help cleaning teams tackle the added workload. Their full line of sweepers and scrubbers are powered by lithium-ion batteries that extend run time and help save money due to the long-life cycle.
The scrubbers and sweepers are comprised of a familiar design for ease and accessibility by anyone and include an easy-to-use touch screen panel, plus they are easy to maintain and require no tools for parts replacement or adjustments. These benefits add up to cleaning teams with more uptime.
Research continues to grow regarding the transmissibility of viruses through air. Coronavirus, being the most current example, has shown us that particles can travel through the air we breathe.
More importantly, these virus particles also settle to surfaces and can be redistributed when stirred up due to surfaces being touched. This is true for the particles that land on flooring too.
Research done by the CDC demonstrated how coronavirus particles were tracked from patient treatment rooms to other parts of the hospital on shoes of doctors and nurses.
This helps to show why consistent floor cleaning is imperative—it can help improve our air quality, as well.
One way to tackle both issues is by using equipment that utilizes HEPA filters, such as Whiz, the autonomous vacuum sweeper distributed by ICE Robotics and SoftBank Robotics.
The HEPA filter in Whiz is shown to improve the cleanliness of air by 8x that of other similar equipment due to the ability of HEPA filters to capture micro-particles. Plus, since Whiz is autonomous it can be dispersed into areas that need cleaning without adding additional bodies to the environment—this can help reduce the number of debris and particles that are stirred back into the air due from foot traffic.
Once a surface has been properly vacuumed, floor scrubbing machines can be used with proper sanitizers and disinfectants to help eliminate viruses on floors thus reducing the likelihood of it being dispersed back into the air.
Keeping your floors maintained and clean is imperative to the safety of anyone in your building. Slip, trip and fall accidents are the cause of hundreds of deaths and thousands of preventable injuries annually—and most of the time these can be prevented with proper floor care and upkeep.
Keeping floors clean and dried appropriately not only helps prevent the spread of contaminants that can be life threatening but can also help extend the life of your flooring—resulting in floor materials that are not cracked and falling apart which can sometimes be the cause of injuries.
Routine floor care helps you and your team monitor aging flooring (meaning you can replace and repair more regularly), can help to keep water damage at bay with increased attention to problem areas, make sure any spills or leaks are cleaned up immediately, and all together keep your floors in top condition.
Clean and safe floors are key to keeping your building a place that is safe and healthy for all patrons.
We’re here to help! Reach out to one of our specialists with your questions, we’ll be happy to answer them.
If you’d like to keep reading, we suggest: Air Quality 101: The Importance of Clean Indoor Air Quality