Covid 19, Your Facility & Your Operation: A Response Plan
By Nik Lahiri, Essel Environmental Consulting
The effects of COVID 19 has been felt through every aspect of our society. Manufacturers are trying to navigate their responsibilities as employers and business owners.
Here is a road map:
- Are you aware of any existing cases in your facility? Ensuring that you follow proper guidelines about asking or finding out about any known cases – if you are aware of any known cases – you should plan for decontamination of the areas accessed by the known case. This is not an exact science, but it should be done. The best practices would be to hire an emergency response contractor with experience in decontamination & infection control.
There are larger debates about decontaminating facilities as a preemptive approach and that should also be considered. While there are no requirements, a surface cleaning of high touch surfaces is a good idea to remove existing pathogens/contaminants that may be present. We have seen costs of 25 cents to $1.25 per square feet to do the cleaning.
- Once you have decided to do any type of cleaning – you should hire an environmental firm to prepare a protocol. This protocol would summarize how the company should be cleaning, the solution they will be using and the type of verification testing that would be performed. This also addresses worker protection for the people doing the cleaning as well. This should be prepared by a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH).
- When cleaning is taking place, the CIH or environmental firm should be present providing oversight and documenting the cleaning. Data should be generated pre-cleaning on the conditions pre and post cleaning. This comes in the form of ATP testing to have data that shows the levels before and after.
- After finishing the cleaning, the CIH/Environmental Firm should prepare a closeout report that documents the cleaning, ATP levels and contractor information.
- We also recommend creating an infection control operations & maintenance plan that would train your existing maintenance/operations staff with the necessary OSHA trainings to help them be prepared to continue with the cleaning and maintenance after the initial deep clean. Those types of trainings are: bloodborne pathogens, infection control, personal protective equipment and overall hazard communication.
About the Author:
Nik Lahiri is Principal of Essel Environmental Consulting. Among their services, Essel has a Covid 19 response team that is ready to assist with any questions and provide guidance, if needed. Their team, which includes Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH), have worked with over 65 facilities. Nik Lahiri can be reached at NLahiri@esseltek.com.