The COVID-19 pandemic has completely reshaped the way people think about the cleanliness of the facilities they frequent. Not only are they expecting that buildings have been disinfected according to industry guidelines, they also need assurance that proper cleaning processes were followed.
Current circumstances have forced many organizations to strategize how to prepare a safer return to “business as usual” following quarantine procedures. Organizations are also seeking ways to rebuild community trust, relieve occupant anxiety, and ensure that spaces have been cleaned and disinfected according to recommended government standards. As businesses and public establishments re-open nationwide and Nigerians return to using facilities, all eyes are on public restrooms, as this happens of be one of the most frequently visited area within any organization, both by its staffs and customers, making it a high risk area.
Avant Facilities Services Limited offers several considerations for keeping restrooms clean, maintained, well-equipped, and prepared for a healthy hand washing experience:
- Post signage. Reinforce cleanliness with friendly reminders about washing hands for 20 seconds per NCDC guidelines, maintaining safe distances between users, throwing away paper towels, etc. A Healthy Hand Washing Survey carried out, shows that 40% of Nigerians increase hand washing when signs are posted. “Posting updated cleaning schedules in restrooms also goes a long way in helping to reassure customers the facility is taking steps to ensure a clean environment and cares about keeping them safe.”
- Offer touchless fixtures. Cross contamination of germs in restrooms can be reduced by using touch-free fixtures for everything from soap, faucets, hand dryers/towels, doors and flushers. Public health experts agree: “Under any circumstance, using touchless fixtures helps to inhibit the spread of germs in restrooms and buildings,” says medical microbiologist Michael P. McCann, Ph.D., professor of biology, Saint Joseph’s University. “The more we avoid restroom touchpoints, the healthier and easier our operations will be. Hands-free washrooms are a win-win for consumers and businesses.”
- Increase cleaning, sanitization, and restocking. Proper and frequent cleaning and disinfection is key for restrooms, especially for high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, faucets, sinks, toilets, stall door openers and paper towel dispensers. According to NCDC, daily cleaning with soap and water reduces germs, dirt, and impurities on the surface, and should be done frequently, especially if there is high traffic. “It’s also important to disinfect surfaces to kill germs at least once daily, and more often if the restroom is busy.”
- Provide trash cans and hand sanitizer near exits. “Our research shows that 65% of Nigerians use paper toweling to avoid contact with restroom doors and faucets,” Keeping paper towels and waste containers near doorways can be helpful so people can throw them away upon exiting. Installing hand sanitizers outside restrooms is another way people can sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving the restroom.