As businesses now surpass routine cleaning measures to safeguard employees and customers, minimizing potentially harmful chemical exposures in the workplace is an ongoing concern for employers as America reopens and employees return to working onsite.
Disinfecting Your Workplace
Although your cleaning and disinfectant protocol will vary based on the nature of your establishment, business leaders all battle the same threat during the pandemic. The ultimate goal is to reduce COVID-19 infections while providing a safe work environment.
“Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
When Anna Scheib, co-owner of Salon Tryst in Bellingham, WA reopened in early June she realized trust was crucial.
“We needed assurance our disinfectant products met the highest standards for client and employee safety and efficacy,” she said.
The salon uses Barbicide, considered the gold standard in the salon and spa industry pre-COVID-19. “We have a very special and intimate bond with our clients and employees. They know we’re doing everything possible to ensure their wellness and safety,” Scheib said.
Trusting their choice of disinfectants was the first step to reopen with confidence.
Choosing Effective Disinfectants
Along with Barbicide, the salon also uses Lysol, bleach and disinfectant wipes to clean their chairs, shampoo bowls and high-touch surfaces between clients.
Even though the salon relied on Barbicide for years, they still needed official verification it was EPA-registered and effective against COVID-19.
A variety of business leaders are finding innovative ways to reopen safely.
In April, Marriot Hotels announced their rollout of enhanced technology to combat COVID-19 infection using electrostatic sprayers filled with hospital-grade disinfectants for use in sanitizing their hotels.
A small salon’s needs differ from those of a large hotel chain. Your business may be required to adhere to industry-specific guidelines.
When your top priority is workplace safety, how can you be certain you’re choosing the most effective and least harmful disinfectants?
Follow the EPA Guide
The EPA published Six Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use to help business leaders find the right products.
Selecting an EPA-registered product is the first step.
Be aware that products labeled “green” can be misleading and do not guarantee safety. Read and follow the instructions carefully and make sure to pre-clean if indicated. Note the “contact time” specifications for the best results. Provide training to all employees in the proper use of disinfectants.
Avoiding Harmful Products
Your employees and customers rely on your leadership in selecting the safest disinfectants, but hazardous chemicals are widely found in many cleaning products. Asthma and other serious illnesses are potential risks of repeated exposure. Excessive chemical exposure may also jeopardize reproductive health or pose potential cancer-causing risks.
The Responsible Purchasing Network identified products from the EPA’s “List N” considered safest in protecting both human health and the environment. They include antimicrobial ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide, ethanol, or citric acid and are easily substituted for chlorine bleach and other harmful chemicals in your routine cleaning.
Cleaning products should never be mixed together or used on your hands or skin. They are formulated for use on only nonporous surfaces. Remember to wear PPE when working with chemicals.
With the proper use of safe and effective disinfectants, you will help foster public safety and will enjoy the highest levels of consumer confidence.