The Essence of Washroom Hygiene

In Training, Wash Room

The Essence of Washroom Hygiene

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Washrooms or “Sanitary Areas”, as they are generally known, along with kitchens require specific cleaning regimes to ensure that the highest standards of hygiene are maintained in order to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria to other parts of the building and beyond.

It is also generally accepted that the factor that most influences whether or not a customer returns to a pub or restaurant is the condition and cleanliness of the washroom facilities; this above the quality of the food and the professionalism of the service. With this in mind, it is clear that the standards achieved within washrooms need to be of the highest possible.

It is estimated that at any given time, a healthy adult carries around in excess of one hundred trillion micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. The vast majority of these microorganisms are harmless and will not make us ill; however, some are harmful and can cause illness and disease if they are allowed to spread.
These are known as “pathogens”.

Within the washroom environment, we do two things that can spread harmful micro-organisms; that is excrete waste and touch communal surfaces. All human waste is potentially harmful if it is allowed to come into contact with other human beings. Without an effective cleaning regime, the risks of infection are increased and harmful bacteria will be allowed to spread.

There are a number of ways bacteria can spread throughout a building, the most effective and dangerous way is by transferring from human to human. For example, many food poisoning outbreaks can be traced back to one food handler not washing their hands after going to the toilet.

We need to deal with the different hazards created by the normal processes within a washroom and how cleaners can deal with them effectively. In my next Blog I will aprovide specific cleaning instruction for all tasks that will minimise the risk of the spread of infection (If you want to keep up to date on what’s happening on this blog? You can subscribe, see the link to the left of the articles heading).

Factors Influencing Hygiene

Hygiene can be defined as the practices and procedures essential to the maintenance of health and the quality of life. There are two classes of hygiene, each of which are equally important in ensuring a healthy environment.

These are:
• Personal Hygiene, and
• Environmental Hygiene

Personal Hygiene

It somewhat defeats the object, if, when we are implementing and carrying out a hygienic cleaning regime for washroom areas, the operative does not have the highest standards of personal hygiene.

If operatives have a poor standard of personal hygiene, they will be introducing harmful bacteria into the environment which, in turn, could spread to other areas of the building that he/she cleans.

All employees have a responsibility to main high standards of personal hygiene and this should be made clear to all operatives. Any personal habits that may affect the health and wellbeing of all users of the building need to be addressed by managers and supervisors

Environmental Hygiene

This covers all of the environmental factors that will affect the health and wellbeing of all users of a building, the most obvious of which, in our case, would be cleanliness.

When providing cleaning services, you must ensure that the cleaning regime maintains the hygienic environment required of all users of the building.

Bacteria and Infection

The consequence of poor standards of hygiene, be it personal or environmental, is that it will promote the growth and spread of bacteria. Whilst not all bacteria are harmful, it is fair to say that most of the bacteria present in washrooms will cause disease and infections to human beings. Normal cleaning products are ineffective in killing harmful bacteria. As a result, the cleaning industry has developed specific products for the effective cleaning of washroom areas.

In general, products with disinfecting, germicidal or sterilising properties can be used when cleaning washrooms. All will deal with harmful bacteria to a degree such that the risk of infection is minimal.

Typically, Germicidal or Bactericidal Washroom Cleaners will kill 99.99% of all bacteria present on a surface and a cleaning regime that incorporates their use effectively will be sufficient in dealing with the routine cleaning of most washroom areas. Nevertheless, careful thought must be given when choosing the products used to clean washrooms.

Things to consider would be:
• The nature of activity i.e. changing area
• Level of usage
• Habits of the users
• Condition of the surfaces and fittings

All of these factors will influence the level of disinfection required as well as the frequencies required and the processes to be implemented.

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For further information please call us on 020 7700 3322, email sales@janitorialexpress.co.uk or visit www.janitorialexpress.co.uk