As the UK eases its lockdown restrictions, it is important to know what to consider when it is time for businesses to reopen. Whether you plan to reopen your business soon, or in the potentially distant future there are a few things which are essential before you can safely reopen your facility to employees and the public.

Obviously given the current situation Hygiene is of paramount importance so the need to consider internal and external cleaning options is likely to be a high priority.

Aiding social distancing and providing hygiene protection in the work environment in line with Government ‘Covid secure’ guidance is also critical.

Before reopening it is essential that your facility is compliant with all relevant laws and legislation, your maintenance is up to scratch and there is nothing in need of urgent repair. Your facility must be safe for all employees and the public before you can successfully reopen.

In order to ensure you are ready for opening, these are some key areas you must consider.

Specialist Cleaning Services

As the nation prepares itself for gradual lockdown exit, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will continue to present a risk to people returning to work or attending buildings of any kind across the UK.

More than ever, cleaner, safer environments will be needed to reduce this risk and provide added reassurance to colleagues, customers and other visitors.

While premises are currently empty or underutilised, now is the ideal time to act and minimise further interruption. MSL offer various internal and external cleaning options, as well as Industry breaking SafeTOUCH packages which include state-of-the-art fogging applications.

SafeTOUCH (External)
External spray and leave sanitisation

This service is designed to clean, rinse and sanitise all external water washable surfaces. The specialist van-based cleaning kit has been modified to enable the mobile operatives to efficiently and effectively sanitise a wide-range of external areas.

It is a spray and leave application that is ideally suited to shop fronts, entrances/exits, high traffic pedestrian areas, external seating, train stations, bus stations, bus stops, car parks, public realm, play areas etc. The sanitising solution used is independently proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria, spores, viruses and fungi on contact

SafeTOUCH (Internal)
Internal sanitisation to hard surface touch-points and floors using traditional methods

The focus is on expertly cleaning and sanitising the touch-points which can experience high volumes of human interaction, easily transmitting viruses. A specific method statement has been developed to be applied to ensure work is carried out safely and use traditional cleaning methods to deep clean internal hard surface-touch points and flooring.

A typical specification includes handrails, door handles, switches, push plates, lifts, sinks work-tops, desks, computers, telephones, chairs, taps, hand dryers, dispensers, vending machines etc. The sanitising solution used is independently proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria, spores, viruses and fungi on contact

SAFETouch+
Internal/External sanitisation using fogging/latest eco-friendly technology

The latest fogging technology can be used in a range of environments internally and externally to offer a unique sanitising solution. The fogger sanitising solution is atomised to create a very fine fog which binds to surfaces to disinfect on contact. It is designed for disinfecting, sterilisation, air purification, anti-virus and disease prevention.

The sanitising solution used is independently proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria, spores, viruses and fungi on contact. It is chlorine and alcohol-free and will not damage rubbers, plastics, metals, soft furnishings etc.

After using the foggers you only need to leave indoor areas for approx. 60 mins afterwards and ventilated areas for only 20 minutes, before reoccupation. This service is ideal for use within any public, commercial or retail environment. It can also be effectively used to sanitise vehicles – ambulances, public transport, delivery fleet etc.

Social distancing & hygiene protection for staff and customers

Under the current government guidance, we all have a responsibility to adhere to the 2m social distancing rule where possible. This can, of course, be difficult under certain trading conditions where several people congregate.

To help diminish the risks in line with government ‘Covid Secure’ advice there are a number of mitigation products available.

Sneeze Guards
Installation of sneeze guards is an extremely useful way of avoiding viral contamination where the 2m rule cannot always be fully adhered to.

MSL supply and fit sneeze guards tailored to any needs be it free-standing or fixed to a trade counter or desk space.

Quotes with technical drawings are usually returned the same day with most orders being achievable for delivery within 5-7 days from order.

Floor Markings
As seen in almost any trading business right now the introduction of floor fitted markings is a very effective way of highlighting safe 2-metre distancing. MSL provide an array of self-adhesive floor markings in any colour and branded with company logos to help maintain the all-important company image.

Hand Sanitiser Stations

Essential to help the fight against Covid-19, we supply a number of sanitiser solutions from our foot operated stainless steel hand sanitisers, desktop hand sanitisers and automatic hand sanitiser stations. All solutions are ideal for entry/exit points to buildings, segmented working areas or high contact areas such as kitchens and canteens.

Many can be branded with company branding and messages re-enforcing the message to clean hands regularly.

How MSL can Help

MSL are able to assist our clients with all sneeze guards, office screens, floor markings and hand sanitisers through the supply and installation of these useful social distancing tools.

Planned & Statutory Compliance

During this period of lockdown, many companies have chosen to close their properties, large portfolios of shops and offices have now stood empty and idle for a significant period of time.

It is important to remember that this may have resulted in areas of statutory compliance and planned maintenance lapsing or expiring, areas such as:

• Fire Services
• Electrical Compliance
• HVAC
• Lifts & Escalators
• Legionella L8

In addition to statutory obligations, there may be implications relating to the health, safety and wellbeing of both staff and members of the public in returning properties back to normal use.

How MSL Can Help
The MSL inSYNC system is an in house developed and maintained CAFM system that we have tailored to the specific needs of our client base. The system is central to our service delivery and client information stream.

The Planned / Compliance module is used to manage and control all aspects of PPM management includes service visit tracking, compliance status for each site, visibility of forward and pending visits along with the ability to view and download reports and statutory certification.

During this unique and unprecedented period of disruption to normal business life we are working with our clients and providing essential information on the status of their estates, with reports such as the example below that shows the compliance disciplines and the visits that have lapsed during lockdown on a site by site basis.

Reports such as this provide the information clients and ourselves require to plan for the efficient and speedy return to normal once restrictions are eased or lifted. If you feel that MSL might be of assistance in returning your estate to normal compliant operation please do not hesitate to contact us.

Water Systems & Legionella Control

When reopening your facility, you must consider the start-up procedures for your water systems before you can even look to reopen. Consideration should be given to water system cleaning and disinfection and/or controlled flushing to mitigate the risk from prolonged stagnation. Sampling may be useful to demonstrate the effectiveness of control measures.

What is Legionnaires Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia which can cause serious illness in persons who are susceptible such as those over 50 years, smokers, and those with underlying health conditions. In Europe just under 1 in 10 of those who acquire Legionnaires’ disease die. Legionnaires’ disease and the milder form, which is a flu-like illness called Pontiac fever, is caused by the growth of Legionella in building water systems which are not adequately managed. Aerosolized water from systems containing Legionella can cause Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever to those who are exposed. Closure of buildings, parts of buildings or their restricted use, can increase the risk for Legionella growth in water systems and associated equipment if they are not managed adequately.

Where Should I Start?
Start by reviewing your risk assessment and update it to reflect your current water system usage and other systems or equipment which have reduced use or are shut down. Document how you will protect staff, visitors and others from Legionella growth who remain on your property and when it is re-opened. If required, get help from an experienced and competent water treatment advisor, public health or environmental health authorities.

MSL Can Help
MSL can help with these procedures and ensure that your water systems are brought back into operation in a manner that ensures the safety of all users. We are also able to offer both risk assessment reviews and where require written scheme policy guidance in order to provide the required control strategies are both identified and implemented.

We are also able to offer remobilisation of the water services as below:

• If your water systems were left full during the closedown,

• And if a weekly flush was carried out (Hot and cold taps turned on and run for 3 to 5 minutes and a record of these actions maintained). Prior to the system being returned to use it is recommended that samples are taken to ensure the effectiveness of the above. MSL can provide this service.

• Or If it has not been possible to maintain a programme of weekly flushing or you isolated your water supply and drained your water appliances. Prior to the system being returned to use the system needs to be chlorinated fully and samples taken for verification that it is “fit for use”. MSL can also provide this service.

This approach is defined under HSG 274 – Part 2 this is summarised below:

Buildings temporarily taken out of use (mothballing)

2.50 Where a building, part of a building or a water system is taken out of use (sometimes referred to as mothballing), it should be managed so that microbial growth, including legionella in the water, is appropriately controlled.

2.51 All mothballing procedures are a compromise between adequate control of microbial growth, the use of water for flushing (while avoiding waste) and degradation of the system by any disinfectant added. Where disinfectants are used, these should leave the system fit for its intended purpose.

2.52 In general, systems are normally left filled with water for mothballing and not drained down as moisture will remain within the system enabling biofilm to develop where there are pockets of water or high humidity. The water in the system also helps to avoid other problems associated with systems drying out, including failure of tank joints and corrosion in metal pipework. The systems should be recommissioned as though they were new (ie thoroughly flushed, cleaned and disinfected) before returned to use.

Air Conditioning Systems

Currently, there are no guidelines which support a necessary inspection of air conditioning systems be carried out after an extended period of shutdown and there is no scientific evidence at present to suggest that ventilation or air conditioning systems are contributing to the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

However, it is good practice to reinstate your regular maintenance programme and clean the filters and coils to remove any bacteria of any kind and check that the air conditioning unit operates.

MSL Can Help

MSL can help with reinstating your regular maintenance programme or undertaking a one-off service visit for your air conditioning units.

For more information on reopening your business after extended shutdown, contact the MSL team on 0333 1234 450 or email the dedicated Covid-19 address; [email protected]