by Brianna Crandall — July 2, 2021 — The Cleaning Coalition of America, a new group representing the nation’s largest facilities services companies and their frontline cleaning and facilities professionals, released recommendations in recent weeks for businesses in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut and beyond looking to enhance their COVID-era cleaning procedures and protocols amid states reopening.
As tri-state businesses of all sizes — spanning small mom & pop shops to major venues like Radio City Music Hall — as well as those in other states prepare to open their doors, it is critical that proper cleaning and disinfecting practices are in place that reflect the latest federal guidelines and expertise from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the professional cleaning industry, says CCA.
Josh Feinberg, president of the Cleaning Coalition of America and chief strategy and transformation officer at ABM Industries, stated:
While the reopening of New York City and the entire tri-state area is certainly a major milestone in the fight against the pandemic, people are still understandably concerned about returning to their workplaces. Covid-19 and other viruses such as influenza can be spread in the workplace, and with companies preparing for an influx of employees during the weeks and months ahead, businesses must adopt more stringent cleaning standards that protect public health for the long term.
Embracing enhanced cleaning regimens is both a health and business imperative that can help reduce the potential for outbreaks and support the nation’s economic recovery. Pre-pandemic illnesses such as the common cold and flu cost U.S. employers more than $225 billion annually in lost productivity — nearly $1,700 per employee.
As employers look to facilitate a safe return to in-person operations, the Cleaning Coalition of America recommends that businesses consider the following:
- Incorporate routine disinfecting into the cleaning process, particularly high-touch surfaces: Wiping surfaces with a microfiber cloth and cleaning solution is essential for removing microscopic pathogens. Best-in-class cleaning programs use peroxide-based cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants.
- Create screening processes and install sanitizing stations: Work with building managers to implement screening processes in lobbies and install sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas and points of congestion.
- Develop a contamination response plan: Develop a decontamination plan in partnership with trained cleaning professionals using advanced cleaning techniques, such as electrostatic spraying, to protect against future outbreaks and ensure a streamlined response should a positive Covid-19 case be reported.
- Increase visibility of cleaning team: With 73 percent of Americans worried that returning to the workplace could pose a risk to their personal health and safety, it is important that employees see onsite cleaning crews and are aware of the updated protocols.
- Ensure proper communication to employees: To ensure employees adhere to the rules of the building and feel comfortable returning to the workplace, prioritize clear and consistent communication through signage and transparent updates.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Cleaning Coalition of America member companies have partnered with every major industry to develop transparent Covid-19 response plans that prioritize public health and safety.
Gary Herald, president of Able Services, a Coalition board member, remarked:
The pandemic has taught us that using the best products is only the start of an effective COVID-era cleaning program. Precise protocols that emphasize routine cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces and developing detailed decontamination policies can keep people safe should COVID-19 — or any virus for that matter — make its way into a workplace.
The Cleaning Coalition of America was founded in 2020 by seven of the nation’s largest facilities services companies. With more than one million professional cleaners employed and operations in every state, the Coalition advocates on behalf of professional cleaners nationwide to shape and advance crucial policies and measures that promote the safe and responsible return to business and the reopening of our economy.
For more information on the Cleaning Coalition of America and how to protect your workplace, visit the CCA website.