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“Companies everywhere are developing


technologies designed to inspire public confidence as we venture back out into the world.”


According to Public Health England, non-healthcare settings can be cleaned effectively using standard products and methods – provided this is carried out frequently and thoroughly. And when it comes to hand hygiene, experts agree that the virus can be removed from the hands simply by using soap and water.


Like many other viruses, the coronavirus has a fatty membrane studded with proteins which enable it to infect cells. And according to the Global Handwashing Partnership, a drop of ordinary soap diluted in water is sufficient to rupture this fatty layer which will destabilise the virus and deactivate it.


Alcohol-based disinfectants and sanitisers will also deactivate the virus, but soap is said to be more effective since only a small amount of soapy water is required to cover both the hands and achieve a thorough clean.


Regular cleaning – coupled with effective hand washing – are the best defences against the coronavirus. Public facilities therefore need to increase cleaning frequencies and ensure that all washrooms are kept well stocked with soaps and hand drying facilities to aid good hand hygiene. Such moves will reassure the public and give them the confidence to return to shops, restaurants, gyms and bars.


However, technological solutions can still play an important role in supporting cleaning regimes and hand hygiene protocols. For example, cleaning efficiency may be improved with the aid of a solution such as Tork Digital Cleaning Plans. This management software enables managers to map out cleaning rounds and ensure that all routes are optimised and that no task is overlooked.


Hand hygiene will break down in situations where soap and towels have been allowed to run out, so a solution such as


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


Tork EasyCube will help to prevent this from happening. Tork EasyCube ‘connects’ the washroom and allows cleaning and maintenance staff to remotely monitor visitor traffic and check dispenser refill requirements. Cleaners can then keep an eye on supply levels without having to physically enter the washroom. Digital solutions can also be used to monitor traffic in conference rooms and kitchenettes so that cleaners can respond accordingly.


Hand hygiene will also be enhanced if washroom visitors have access to the products they prefer. A study we at Essity carried out in April this year (conducted by United Minds in cooperation with CINT using web panels) revealed that an increasing number of washroom visitors now use hand towels as a barrier to avoid them having to touch taps, door handles and light switches. In fact, 61% of respondents said they now routinely used paper hand towels for this purpose while 59% of people in the UK said they wished more washroom facilities offered paper hand towels as an alternative to air dryers.


The technological breakthroughs currently being made to purify the air we breathe, sanitise our public facilities and improve the safety of transport hubs are all highly commendable since they help to raise our confidence when returning to airports, shops and restaurants.


Technology will no doubt continue to be used to create sanitary spaces, enhance hygiene and reassure the public that cutting-edge equipment is being used to keep them safe. But it is essential that the key hygiene requirements are not overlooked and that regular cleaning – coupled with a plentiful supply of products that promote hand washing and drying – remain in place as the cornerstones of public health.


www.tork.co.uk/safeatwork (https://globalhandwashing.org/how-washing-hands-with-soap-destroys-the-coronavirus/) TECHNOLOGY | 49


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