With many essential workers already at work and many others soon to be back in offices, companies and organizations have a big feat to face in the post-pandemic age: keeping bathrooms sanitary and employees distant.
Of course, cleaning bathrooms and washing your hands are always a given. Bathrooms are hot spots for germs, and it only makes sense to clean them regularly. However, as employees will be expected to keep a distance from one another and wash their hands often, how can facilities minimize contamination and the spreading of disease?
1. Post signage. Reinforce cleanliness with friendly reminders about washing hands for 20 seconds per Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, maintaining safe distances between users, throwing away paper towels, etc. Did you know that 40% of Americans increase their hand washing when signs are posted?
2. Offer touchless fixtures. Cross contamination of germs in restrooms can be reduced by using touch-free fixtures for everything from soap, faucets, hand dryers/towels, doors and flushers. Public health say that using touchless fixtures helps to inhibit the spread of germs in restrooms and buildings. The more people avoid restroom touchpoints, the healthier and easier operations will be.
3. Increase cleaning, sanitization and restocking. Proper and frequent cleaning and disinfection is key for restrooms, especially for high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, faucets, sinks, toilets, stall door openers and paper towel dispensers. According to the CDC, daily cleaning with soap and water reduces germs, dirt, and impurities on the surface, and should be done frequently, especially if there is high traffic.
4. Provide trash cans and hand sanitizer near exits. 65% of Americans use paper toweling to avoid contact with restroom doors and faucets. Keeping paper towels and waste containers near doorways can be helpful so people can throw them away upon exiting. Installing hand sanitizers outside restrooms is another way people can sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving the restroom.
5. Prop open doors to increase visibility and minimize contact. To limit the number of people in restrooms and encourage social distancing, a propped open door can give people a small window into seeing how many others are already inside. In addition, a slightly opened door allows people to maneuver the door with their elbow, as opposed to their hands.