There is no denying that our world has changed; the way we work, the way we interact with others, the very things we must pay attention to in order to ensure personal safety are all vastly different than they were mere months ago. And as much still remains in limbo, and while understanding that what the future looks like isn’t necessarily clear, there is one thing that is non-negotiable: In order for businesses to operate right now, cleaning and hygiene practices must be completely reimagined—especially when considering a potential audit.
In this post, we will discuss how to update preventative maintenance schedules, which is key in safeguarding against contamination and spread of COVID-19.
Clean and Safe Workplaces & Preventative Maintenance Schedules
As the business environment has changed, it is foolish to think that we can go back to the same protocols that were in place prior to the pandemic. Safe and clean workplaces must have a foundation that is centered on turnkey preventative maintenance schedules that have been updated to align with emerging and ever-evolving requirements.
An example of this has been put forth by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). They have outlined new recommendations that should be followed when reopening a building. Their guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Strategic plans should be in place prior to the building’s reopening and should address how to make the building’s occupants feel safer and more confident that their health and wellness are important. ASHRAE notes that ensuring there are no breaks in the supply chain for items such as filters, PPE, and other necessary supplies is imperative.
- HVAC programming must provide flushing two hours before and after occupancy. This means operating exhaust fans and opening outside air dampers for proper ventilation.
- Guarantee that custodial procedures are followed to the “t” and that high-touch HVAC areas are disinfected regularly with cleaning products approved by the EPA and CDC.
The organization outlines other necessary steps that must be followed to ensure building readiness, protect workers, and stop the spread of the virus. Of course, your preventative maintenance schedule and protocols may vary based on your industry. Our point is that you must examine what had been done prior to the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns and what needs to happen now to ensure safety for all. Yes, it may be tempting to think of this time as an opportunity to cut costs in the face of economic downturn and declining revenues—but in our opinion, that is also a recipe for disaster for your business if you want to see the other side of this incredible and unprecedented time in our nation and our world’s history.
Finally, once you have established the new preventative maintenance schedules and protocols as well as needed frequencies, then you must spend considerable time and effort to ensure that your employees are properly trained on these new procedures and remain compliant—each and every day. Reinforce the need of how to use and dispose of protective gear, how to maintain social distance in tight work quarters, how to properly handle and use disinfectants, and other pertinent points. Again, this might vary depending on your industry and business—just make sure the lines of communication are open and that the flow of information is constant. Remember, the health and wellness of many people depend on your business getting this right.
Of course, you do not have to go about operating in this “new normal” alone. The team at DigitalThinker welcome the opportunity to be your partner and are eager to show you how Hexagon EAM could be a key tool used as you reimagine and realize what a safe and compliant workplace looks like now. We have the know-how, the tools, and the ability to help you harness the best in technology and innovation to lessen the effects of this trying time. Reach out to our team today and let’s begin a conversation. This is not a time to depend on “cookie cutter” thinking—this is a time to envision what is around the corner and drive to get better. Contact us now.