Home' Inclean : INCLEAN May-Jun 2015 Contents 22 INCLEAN May/June 2015
By Lesley McKenna*
Today we live in a germ obsessed society.
With reports from the International
Facility Management Association (IFMA)
suggesting that 69 percent of customers
say a dirty bathroom lowers their opinion
of the company; the condition of a
washroom carries heavy consequences not
only for the reputation of the business,
but also for the facility’s ability to combat
In the hygiene industry we often
advise on washroom etiquette, and frequently place the onus on the
washroom user to follow recommended hygiene routines. However, as
cleaning industry professionals, we also need to assess our washroom
cleaning practices. Are we doing enough to minimise the risk of cross
contamination and to encourage good hygiene behaviour?
Here are three ways to reduce the risk of cross contamination in
With migrant workers accounting for a significant proportion of
Australia’s contract cleaning employees, it is essential to establish
Washroom hygiene starts with sanitation programs
and education to combat cross contamination
EAP-QuarterPage-135x90mm-MayJune2015-VeoraTADTowels.pdf 1 20/04/2015 12:11 pm
cleaning regimes that can be easily understood by all and not affected
by language barriers. Colour coding is an effective way of indicating
to employees which chemical and cleaning tools are required without
the use of language. This practice educates users on which equipment
and tools should be used in each environment, thus reducing the risk of
cross contamination. While some employers use their own combinations
to fit their own needs, the Clinical Excellence Commission (www.
cleaning-sop/colour_coding_chart_2012.pdf) promotes a clever
framework for colour coding within the cleaning industry.
The chart highlights red as appropriate for toilets/bathrooms/
dirty utility rooms with yellow suitable for infectious/isolation areas.
White has been designated to high risk hospital environments such as
In addition to colour coding, make sure employees are thoroughly
trained on cleaning procedures for high-risk touch points such as door
handles, toilet flushes, soap dispensers and taps.
Take a look at your cleaning equipment and supplies. Microfibre
dusting cloths and mops are more effective at eliminating cross
contamination than conventional products.
In addition to equipment, you also need to consider the type of
cleaning systems that you are using. When disinfecting, janitors need
to pay particular attention to proper dilution and dwell times. Failure
to dose the correct amount of chemical ratio can result in smeared
dirt, sticky surfaces, and ultimately cross contamination. Precise
dosing systems such as Brightwell Dispensers’ ECOrange prevent
inaccurate dilution, and thanks to the patented dilution ring, users can
set the specific required ratio depending on the environment.
While responsible cleaning practices play a key role in keeping
facilities free from contamination, satisfactory washroom fixtures must
also be considered as a means of promoting hygiene.
Dirty bathrooms not only discourage but also impede sanitation.
Washroom appearance can affect a user’s willingness to touch fixtures to
wash and dry their hands if they perceive the bathroom too soiled for use.
As a result, there is a wide range of touch-free technologies available such
as automatic soap dispensers and sensor-activated taps and bins which
encourage sanitation, thereby helping to reduce the spread of bacteria.
There’s no doubt that washroom hygiene is under constant scrutiny.
Cleanliness lies with all parties and, through comprehensive sanitation
programs and proper education, cleaning contractors and onsite staff
can help to successfully minimise cross contamination.
*Lesley McKenna is marketing executive for Brightwell Dispensers,
To discuss advertising,
call Samantha Ewart on
02 8586 6106 or email
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