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Are you getting ready to reopen your business post-Coronavirus?

Are you ready to reopen your business post-Coronavirus?

Since mid-March when the Government ordered non-essential business to close their doors due to the growing risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the world seems have become a very different place. As consumers and business-owners, we have got used to long queues and takeaway-only services, staff wearing PPE and signage telling us where to stand and which direction to move around the supermarket. For some people (for example those who are shielding) who may have stayed indoors completely, those first tentative steps outside will come very soon.

 

With the risk level across the UK recently being downgraded and the Government’s announcement regarding easing restrictions, we are all looking forward to the world starting to return to normal.Businesses such as restaurants, pubs, cinemas and hair salons will be allowed to open their doors to the paying public on 4th July, all provided they are COVID-secure. If your business is due to reopen, are you ready? 

What does COVID-secure mean?

Being COVID-secure includes several steps to minimise the risk of Coronavirus spreading in your premises. Not only must you make sure you are following the published Government guidance, but you also need to carry out thorough risk assessments specific to your business and then put all necessary control measures in place. This will include cleaning measures, PPE requirements and logistical measures such as how many people you’ll be able to welcome into your premises while adhering to social distancing. 

We understand that it can seem like an overwhelming task and that you may be nervous about what the future of your business looks like, so we wanted to help. As a part of the Scarborough community for more than 20 years, here at Spectrum we feel passionate about helping businesses get back on their feet and kick-starting the local economy as soon as possible.

Introducing Spectrum – Back to Business

We’ve been putting together a series of guides and documents which are completely free to use and will help you and your business get set up for success over the coming weeks. From printable awareness posters to risk assessment templates, product recommendations to cleaning procedures and checklists, you can get ahead and start planning everything you need to welcome your customers back.

Whether you’re due to open on 4th July, you’ve already been operating with limited services, or you have to wait a bit longer to see your customers again, it’s crucial that you spend some time assessing how ready your business is. Your staff will want to know what their safety is being considered, as will your customers. 

How do I access these resources?

To make a started getting back to business, you can view all of our COVID-19 resources by clicking here. Anyone can access and use these documents, for free! 

If you are a customer with a My Spectrum account, simply log in and you will see they have been added to your documents. 

Coronavirus Advice

Coronavirus Advice – February 2020

Following the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus, please find our guidance on how to reduce your risk of infection.

You can find detailed information about how to prevent the spread of infection from Public Health England on Gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control

Hand Hygiene

The overriding advice for the public is to observe good hand hygiene, ensuring you wash hands correctly and frequently. The NHS advises to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds:

Use soap and water to build up a lather in your hands. Ensure all surfaces of the hands are cleaned, including the thumbs, palms, between fingers and fingertips. When you’ve finished washing your hands, rinse off the soap and dry your hands thoroughly. Hands left damp can quickly attract and breed germs.

You can also use an alcohol-based hand rub after washing your hands or in place of soap and water if you cannot get to a sink. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are not effective at cleaning visibly dirty hands but at levels over 60% alcohol, they are effective at killing 99.9% of bacteria.

GOJO Antimicrobial Foaming Handwash and Purell Advanced Hygienic Hand Rub meet EN 14476+A1 (v.2015).  This means they are effective against enveloped viruses (such as Coronaviruses).

Surface Cleaning

For infection control, the PHE recommends using a neutral detergent followed by a chlorine-based disinfectant and cleaning surfaces regularly, at least daily if caring for someone who is suspected to have contracted Coronavirus. Always use adequate PPE and ensure any staff members caring for a patient are trained in the safe use of PPE. 

Bio Productions Chlorine Sanitising Tablets – 1 tablet dissolved in 1L of water gives 1,000 ppm of available chlorine suitable for disinfecting surfaces such as bathrooms, kitchens, door handles etc.

Safe Zone Plus is a ready to use virucidal disinfectant, easy to use when Chlorine is not suitable.

For further information please read the Public Health advice at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control

Alternatively the World Health Organisation advice can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

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Work Related Stress

How Cleaning Can Help Your Mental Health

Successful business achievement

How Cleaning can help your mental health

Being in environments that are cluttered make for easy distractions, which can in turn impair the brain’s ability to process information to the best of its ability and leave you feeling disconcerted. This means that not only does it matter to keep your home clean and tidy, but also keeping your workspace – whether this is a desk, van, classroom or anything in between – clean and tidy as you can be more productive and develop healthy habits at work if you pay more attention to the cleanliness and organisation of your environment. By implementing techniques and habits that will help you to be tidier, you may feel better about yourself and the space in which you work, without having any anxiety about misplacing or losing documents or creating mounds of unfinished business.

A 2010 study[1] on how people described their homes and how this affected mental well-being showed that people who describe their home as “cluttered” or crowded with “unfinished projects” were more likely to be fatigued and depressed. In comparison, those who defined their home as “restful” and “restorative” had higher levels of happiness and mental well-being.

These findings highlight the way in which cluttered and messy environments can make it difficult for us to focus on particular tasks and achieve goals throughout the day and week. But by engaging in a regular cleaning routine, research shows[2] that we feel more optimistic after a failure, as being clean and tidy can help to boost self-esteem and confidence.

So, what can we easily do to make our living and working environments cleaner, so that we can positively affect our mental well-being? We’d recommend the following:

  • Setting a time each day that is dedicated to cleaning, for example arrive ten minutes early to work or leave ten minutes later so that you can ensure that your work space is tidy, ready for the day ahead. You may not want to stay at work longer than you need to, but the mental and productive benefits would be great.
  • Do the same for at home, so that not every job you need to do in the week needs doing all at once on a Sunday afternoon when you should be relaxing!
  • Have organisational office items – stationary holders, letter trays, filing cabinets – to help you file your work more effectively, reducing the amount of tidying that you will need to do when things start to pile up.
  • Split up the jobs that you don’t like doing! Hate doing the vacuuming or the ironing? Then make sure these jobs are on separate days, so you don’t feel down about doing it all at once. Also, if you live with someone, try and make it so that you do the jobs that the other person doesn’t like and vice-versa, meaning that you won’t see your cleaning tasks as as much of a chore.
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make cleaning fun! Now this might not be easy to do, but you can listen to music or an audio book as you clean to get you through it, or even reward yourself with your favourite treat when you reach cleaning milestones.

References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19934011

[2] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2476507/How-washing-hands-makes-HAPPIER-Cleaning-boosts-confidence-washes-away-feelings-failure.html

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Recycling – Do Your Bit!

Recycling- Do Your bit!

Recycling is an issue that is dominating the world at the moment and rightly so, as in the UK alone over 31 billion tonnes of waste is produced every year, including around 5 billion drinks cans and 13 billion plastic drinks bottles being used, but more than 3 billion of these plastic bottles are not recycled. In an attempt to tackle this, more than 40 companies, including giants Coca-Cola, Asda and Proctor & Gamble, have signed up with the government, trade associations and campaigners to form the UK Plastics Pact.

This comes after the government made the announcement that there will soon be a ban in the UK on the sales of plastic straws and cotton buds, in an attempt to tackle the overuse of plastic. Environmental Secretary Michael Gove also announced that the UK will commit £61m to develop new ways of clearing up plastics.

On the new bans to be introduced, the Environmental Secretary said: “Single-use plastics are a scourge on our seas and lethal to our precious environment and wildlife, so it is vital we act now. We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on straws, stirrers and cotton buds to help protect our marine life.”

Theresa May added: “The UK government is a world leader on this issue, and the British public have shown passion and energy embracing our plastic bag charge and microbead ban, and today we have put forward ambitious plans to further reduce plastic waste from straws, stirrers and cotton buds.”

So, what can we do as consumers to help reduce plastic use and increase recycling rates?

  • Read all packaging labels to know how to recycle our products.
  • Take all glass bottles to the local bottle bank.
  • Take your own cups into coffee shops, rather than using single-use cups.
  • Reuse plastics where possible, e.g. carrier bags, plastic food boxes from the takeaway, water bottles, polystyrene and bubble wrap, to name a few.

Did you know?

  • Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60W bulb for up to 6 hours.
  • Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a TV for 2 hours.
  • 6 billion kg of waste is dumped into the ocean every year, with most of this being plastic.
  • Takeout coffee cups are not recyclable, resulting in billions of cups being thrown away as waste every year.
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Washroom

The Key to Hotel Hygiene

The Key to Hotel Hygiene

Cleanliness is something that all of us expect when we stay in a hotel. We instantly make a judgement on the place we are staying in when we walk in, and a lot of this judgement rests on how clean everything is. We look at the windows, front desk, floors and the bar area, but has anyone ever stopped to think how clean the hotel key cards are? The Journal of Environmental Health published an article in 2017 that looked into this exact thought and the results were alarming.

In most hotels around the world, guests who check in to the hotel are given a brand new key card, but there are some hotels where guests are given previously used cards. To get as comprehensive results as possible from the test, the researchers of this study wanted to find out if the card might still be contaminated if it is brand new as well as if they’re previously used. When the tests were carried out on the cards that were already used and being recycled to be used again, there was an assumption that the cards would already be contaminated, but what was unknown was the degree of contamination on the card.

Put it to the Test

149 hotel key cards were collected from 25 economy and mid-range hotels to carry out the test, which used Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) monitoring systems to swab the cards to measure contamination levels. On the ATP system, a reading of less than 10 indicates a very clean surface, 11-30 indicates an unclean surface that mat cause disease and 30 and above indicates that the cards are soiled, contaminated and could spread disease.

The results of the tests showed that the reused hotel key cards had an average reading of 175.03 which is extremely high, indicating that the cards were dirty and very likely to be contaminated with a threat of spreading disease. For the new key cards there was an average reading of 35, which suggests that even at brand new, the cards could already be contaminated and carry diseases.

These test results just go to show that diseases really can be laying on just about anything, not just the obvious things we think of like toilets, door handles, counter tops and light switches and it highlights just how important proper hand hygiene is.

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