General cleaning keeps your office neat, tidy and hygienic. While you might clean your floors, kitchen and toilets regularly, you might miss areas in your office that are potential hygiene risks.
For example, office buildings contain a lot of touchpoints. You might not clean these areas regularly; you might leave them for periodic deep cleans. However, you shouldn't ignore the risks they pose.
What are touchpoints, and why are they a problem? What's the best way to deal with them?
What are touchpoints?
In cleaning terms, touchpoints are places which people touch regularly during the working day. For example, a typical office building might include some or all of the following touchpoints:
- Lift call and floor buttons
- Door, drawer and cupboard handles
- Light switches
- Buttons on equipment like photocopiers and scanners
- Kitchen equipment like fridges, microwaves and kettles
- Phone handsets
- Computers and keyboards
Some touchpoints are in use more than others. For example, anyone who comes into your building might touch an entrance door handle and a lift call button.
However, only people in your company might touch things in your kitchen or toilets. Individuals might be the only people who regularly touch their desks and items on them.
Why are touchpoints a problem?
The COVID-19 pandemic made people more aware that viruses and bacteria can survive on some surfaces for days, weeks or even months. This isn't just a problem during a pandemic—it also has an everyday impact. For example, even a common cold virus can stay active on a surface for a number of days.
During this time, the virus doesn't usually multiply, but it is still contagious. Surface infections usually start with touch here.
So, someone might pick up a virus particle from touching a surface. If they then touch their mouth, eyes or nose, they might transfer the virus into their body. They could become ill.
In an office environment, touchpoint surfaces can promote the spread of illness in the workforce. Your employees could inadvertently share illnesses which keep more people off work and increase your sick days.
For example, say someone comes to work early in the morning. They have started to develop flu symptoms. They blow their nose and then open the door to your office. They then pop into the kitchen to put their lunch in the fridge and to switch the kettle on.
In the space of a few moments, this person could transfer flu virus particles on to the door handle, fridge and kettle. If the particles stick, then anyone who touches these areas could pick up the virus. They could then spread it to other touchpoints themselves.
One of the primary problems with touchpoints is that they aren't always cleaned as regularly as other parts of an office. They might not be part of a daily or even weekly cleaning schedule.
Plus, if touchpoints don't obviously look like they need cleaning, then they might be left alone for longer periods. However, the less often they are cleaned, the more likely they might hold and pass on viruses or bacteria.
What's the best way to deal with touchpoints?
If you want to keep your office as safe and hygienic as possible, then identify your touchpoints and clean them regularly. After cleaning, you should also disinfect or sanitise the surfaces.
Both these steps are important. You need to clean before you disinfect or sanitise to prevent particles sticking to any dirt on the touchpoint. If you then disinfect or sanitise the surface, you deal with anything left on the surface after the clean.
If you aren't sure how to deal with danger touchpoint spots in your office, then contact Comclean Australia. We can help you set up the most effective cleaning schedule that includes regular touchpoint cleans.