rentokil technician performing disinfection services

Precautionary disinfection: keeping your business safe from the threat of Coronavirus

Harry Wood

As countries around the world are moving through different phases of the COVID-19 infection, businesses and organizations must find new ways to protect their staff, customers, buildings, machinery, equipment and goods from the risks of infection and contamination. If you’re maintaining vital services or preparing for re-opening, an increased level of hygiene is now recognized as essential to contain the disease and allow operations or activities to return to normal.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is transmitted in bodily fluids, including saliva, mucus, blood, urine and also feces. It can cause infection by entering the body through the mouth, nose or eyes. The virus is emitted from the respiratory system of infected people in droplets created by talking, coughing and sneezing. It is deposited on surfaces nearby or carried in air currents in aerosols – tiny droplets that are small enough to float in the air. In bathrooms, the act of flushing toilets spreads contaminated particles around the room and onto surfaces.

The virus can remain active on different surfaces and in different environmental conditions from a few hours up to several days. Surface hygiene is, therefore, an essential part of making buildings – and any surfaces that people can touch – safe for use. Rentokil has launched a range of disinfection services to help all business sectors, including retail, manufacturing, transportation, education, hospitality, leisure and healthcare, to provide a clean and safe environment for normal operations.

A person wearing a mask, gloves and a safety suit cleans and disinfects a doorway of a community flat in the face of a virus pandemic, protected safety equipment

What is the difference between cleaning, disinfection and sterilization?

Cleaning, disinfection and sterilization provide increasing levels of protection from pathogenic microorganisms that contaminate surfaces. Cleaning is the removal of dirt, which can be organic or inorganic material, from surfaces using water and detergents. It doesn’t kill microorganisms, but physically removes them from the surface, lowering their number and reducing the risk of infection. Thorough cleaning is essential prior to disinfection and sterilization. Any material left on surfaces can reduce the effectiveness of the procedures.

Disinfection is the process of eliminating all or most pathogenic microorganisms, usually using a solution of an active chemical certified to be effective against the target pathogens. Each chemical is active against a different set of pathogens and requires varying times for efficacy. Therefore, it’s important for the operators to fully understand what to use and how to use the disinfectant to make the surfaces are safe.

Sterilization is the process of destroying all microorganisms on a surface or in a fluid to prevent the transmission of pathogens, usually for medical purposes. Sterilization can be achieved by physical methods, such as heat or steam, or by using chemicals with a high level of germicidal activity, such as hydrogen peroxide or ethylene oxide. Various factors can affect the efficacy of disinfection and sterilization, including: 

  • effectiveness of the cleaning done beforehand
  • amount of organic and inorganic material present type
  • level of microbial contamination
  • concentration of and exposure time to the active chemical ingredient
  • physical nature of the treated object
  • presence of biofilms 
  • temperature and pH of the disinfection process

Achieving effective disinfection requires suitable training of the operators to guarantee it’s done properly.

Precautionary disinfection service for COVID-19 containment and control

Precautionary disinfection is a service to clean and disinfect surfaces in buildings or vehicles where there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. It provides assurance to users that those places are safe. The service consists of hard-contact surface disinfection through advanced dispersal technology and surface wipe-down of special and recessed areas. Our highly-trained technicians have years of experience in working in situations that necessitate hygiene.

Our technicians have specialized equipment available and understand how each product works and how it should be applied effectively. For every type of surface, they understand exactly what needs to be done to clean and disinfect them properly. Members of our specialist teams work together to provide prompt service in order to return the facility to normal use.

rentokil technician performing disinfection services

Advanced Dispersal Technology 

Disinfection using Rentokil’s powerfully effective dispersal technology quickly disinfects large areas and allows them to return to normal use. The technique generates a cloud of very small droplets of a disinfectant liquid. The droplets reach all around the area and settle on top of, underneath, and on the sides of many objects. The droplets can cover a wide range of surfaces, including those that are difficult to reach using conventional cleaning methods. Additionally, our specialists perform a surface wipe-down of special and recessed contact points such as angled electronics, keypads with privacy covers, sensitive servers, and handles that curve inward.

The precautionary disinfection service targets key surfaces such as:

  • Door handles
  • Handrails
  • Push bars
  • Switches and buttons
  • Sinks
  • Faucets
  • Toilets
  • Remote controls
  • Tables and counters
  • Hard-backed chairs
  • Other common surfaces

The frequency of cleaning required will depend on the type of business or organization, what the facility is used for, and the risk of viruses.

Legally compliant waste removal

One of the most common questions asked by customers is, “What do you do with waste?” A key part of our operations is complying with the complex legislation around potentially biohazardous waste. Any infectious waste produced, including gloves, aprons or overalls, face masks, paper towels and swabs, is disposed of in adherence to all local legislation and guidelines from the appropriate authorities. 

Help protect your business with COVID-19 disinfection

Until the risk of COVID-19 has been eliminated, taking adequate hygiene measures will remain an essential part of health and safety compliance. As a business or organization, you can provide assurance to employees, customers, students, patients or visitors that you’re protecting their health and well-being on your premises by cleaning and disinfecting regularly. A disinfection service carried out by specially trained and experienced technicians, using approved equipment and disinfectant solutions, will provide peace of mind that you can maintain use of your facilities safely and legally.

Harry Wood
Harry Wood

Harry Wood is a Technical Content Specialist at Rentokil Initial, creating long-form content across the organization's online channels. A writer and editor for 30 years, Harry started out in an academic environment as an expert in tropical forestry and environment before moving into the IT, healthcare and medical technology industry and finally entering the world of pest and hygiene in 2015. A return to his roots writing about wood-boring insect pest, or is it boring Wood writing about insect pest?

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