Disinfecting Touch Points To Prevent Ebola Spread
A reader writes: “I appreciate your comments about the Ebola issue but am hesitant to fly or have contact with others while this risk is growing. How do you suggest I deal with it and how do I provide leadership to my staff?”
I appreciate your concerns but panic on misinformation does not help anyone. Again, thorough hand washing is much better than the sanitizer, which is, at best, a stop gap. Please understand that my comments are suggestive in nature since we all need to take what precautions we can. The chances of any of us getting Ebola are miniscule but those who travel (planes, hotels, etc.) are at a slightly higher risk.
This event gives us an opportunity to review safe practice protocols at the ground level. I do recommend that each manager consider reviewing disinfecting/sanitizing all common touch points such as in the break rooms. Any EPA registered disinfectant is OK to use for this and perhaps a generous supply of disinfecting wipes would help.
Remember that most products require 10 minute dwell time (wet) to be effective. Most aerosol sprays to allegedly disinfect the air may be of limited value. Areas include microwave handles, coffee pot handles, cabinet knobs, etc. Remember that any surface with soils (grease, dirt, etc.) can feed a pathogen and allow it to multiply and spread through handshakes or touching a contaminated surface. CDC has not clearly identified how it is spread so consider sneezing, coughing, touching, etc. to all be potential transmission media. Use extra care in protecting any open wounds.
There is absolutely no reason to panic or change our life styles other than the suggested precautions and commons sense similar to avoiding the flu. We cannot stop traveling so our job is to be aware, keep our hands as clean as possible from touch points and pray this does not get any worse. Any team member who has concerns about travel should be given accommodations until this crisis passes, which it will in due time. My understanding is that the dust filters are not of much value unless they can screen out very fine particulates. The use of disposable gloves at certain times is a good idea although it may alarm security at airports.
Although CDC is struggling, they still have the best information and are actually getting up to speed. I suggest you go to www.cdc.gov for guidance.
Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…..
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.