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With a number of interventions, you can ensure social distancing and hygiene rules are respected, both between employees and during contacts with customers and suppliers.
Cleaning staff immediately ask the customer to air out the building and whether he or she has symptoms that indicate a coronavirus infection. If this is the case, the cleaning staff may not enter the building. The cleaning staff must wash and disinfect their hands and then put on personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves. Shortly before going outside, he or she must take off the PPE and thoroughly wash their hands.
Social distancing is the rule when greeting or leaving the customer. Keeping the appropriate distance is also important when working. If the building allows it, the occupants should not be present in the room where the cleaning staff is working. If this is not feasible, they must keep a distance in the room of at least 1.5 metres. If this is not possible, the cleaning staff cannot work there.
During contact with the customer, try to minimise the exchange of documents and objects. To prevent direct contact, the cleaning staff can put down the documents at arrival so these can be signed when they will leave. However, electronic service vouchers are preferred.
Your employees should always have enough paper handkerchiefs to cover their nose and mouth while blowing their nose, sneezing, and/or coughing. They must immediately throw used handkerchiefs into a rubbish bin and then wash their hands.
Tip: Thoroughly examine the tasks that a cleaning assistant can perform in a domestic environment. Avoid or postpone certain tasks (eg sorting dirty laundry, removing sheets, ...).
Tip: provide your cleaning staff with our ready-made posters about coughing and sneezing, hand hygiene, and general precautions against coronavirus for this.
Our info sheet indicates what you and your staff must pay attention to when working in a room: from adequate ventilation over all people working in a room to personal protective equipment.
You can limit the spread of the coronavirus by ventilating your rooms properly. Opening the windows regularly is the message. If you have a ventilation system, ensure regular maintenance and have the filters replaced or cleaned when they are due. Do not use individual fans that can spread the virus.
See our poster on ventilation during Corona.
Additional rules and guidance have recently been developed, including on the measurement of CO2 concentrations. Find here a list of a number of CO2 meters whose specifications meet these guidelines.
Ask the customer to leave connecting doors open as much as possible during the cleaning. This will reduce the number of door handles the cleaning staff have to touch.
If the building allows it, the occupants should not be present in the room where the cleaning staff is working. If this is not feasible, they must keep a distance in the room of at least 1.5 metres. If this is not possible, the cleaning staff cannot work there.
Only essential meetings that cannot be organised remotely may take place in the office. In this case, choose a space where you can respect social distancing, and keep the number of participants to a minimum. Keep an attendance list of each physical meeting for one month.
Use this poster to inform employees about the maximum number of people that may be present in the room. Hang it on the entrance door(s).
The lift is essential for your cleaning staff so they can move between floors in a high-rise building. However, it is a small space and maintaining a proper distance is not always easy.
Tip: motivate your employees to use the stairs as much as possible as a healthy alternative.
Motivate your employees to always grab the banister when using the stairs. They can use their sleeve or a tissue to grasp the handrail. Provide bins with foot pedal in the staircase; at the beginning, at the end or in different overflows and inform workers to throw the tissue into the trash immediately after use. In addition, you can also provide a hand alcohol gel per floor in a holder so that employees can disinfect their hands before and after using the stairs. Also make sure that the cleaning of banisters and handles (of the doors that lead to the staircase) is included in the cleaning program.
It is no easy task to keep your distance in cars or vans. For that reason, your employees should make trips alone in a vehicle. Try to ensure each company car is linked to one employee. If that isn’t possible, try to work with partitions (e.g. like in taxis), require everyone to wear a face mask, and the vehicle must be thoroughly disinfected after each use.
Those travelling by public transport (train, tram, bus) must follow the instructions provided by the transport companies. And for everyone twelve and older, wearing a face mask or an alternative that covers both nose and mouth is compulsory on public transport, to include in the station, on platforms, and on board trains.
A face mask is now also mandatory in certain (sections of) cities.
Cleaning staff must not take a break or eat lunch in the room where occupants are present. In nice weather, he or she should take their breaks outside.
In addition to adequate hand hygiene for your employees, cleaning materials must also be thoroughly cleaned to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
Cleaning staff must always wear nitrile gloves. Before he or she starts work, they must disinfect cleaning materials (e.g. brush, vacuum cleaner, wiper, bucket) and points that will be touched (e.g. switches, door handles, table tops, remote control, tap handles, valves). The cleaning staff should do the same before they leave. Only prescribed disinfectants may be used. If the cleaning staff will use products provided by the customer, the prescribed dilution must be respected.
Cleaning staff must always wash their hands before and after using the toilet. Also provide a disinfecting hand cream.
Hang clearly legible instructions about hand hygiene at every washbasin. Inform employees to close the water tap with a paper towel or close the tap with the elbow after washing and drying hands. Also underline the importance of good toilet hygiene. Specifically: leave the toilet clean, flush and close the toilet lid.
Provide sufficient quantities of soap – preferably in soap dispensers – paper towels and closable bins, if possible with pedal control.
Avoid using electric hand dryers or towels.
First and foremost: the risk of corona contamination via waste is minimal. Correct, efficient waste collection is crucial to avoid additional hygiene and health risks. Remove full bins or bin bags from the work floor immediately. Waste collectors must wear gloves.
Those who exhibit symptoms must go home. But what about the mental health of your employees? And, has your cleaning staff received the right info about first aid?
Employees who are mentally troubled (for example, stress, workload, work-life combination), feel anxious or are mourning the loss of a loved one can contact the Mensura psycho team during office hours for a confidential conversation.
Even if your non-Dutch speaking employees have mastered our language reasonably well, they may still lack certain nuances. This can lead to misunderstandings. Therefore, provide basic information in the native language of your employees.
Face masks are part of the lockdown exit strategy. It is important that we wear them, but it is crucial that we continue to respect the hierarchy of the prevention measures. Specifically: when the first measure in the hierarchy cannot be respected, only then does the measure in the level below come into force.
Face masks are at the bottom of the ranking and are only recommended if all other measures are not feasible.
Preventive measures according to hierarchy
We are happy to help you! Get in touch with your trusted contact or our regional office.
Do you want to inform your employees about how they can work safely and healthily during these corona times? You can with our sector-specific e-learning sessions.