GOOD PRACTICE GUIDANCE FOR CLEANING OF SCHOOLS
General – standard requirements
This advisory information has been produced in partnership with the South East London Health Protection Unit and the South West Health Protection Unit. These guidelines can be used as a template for cleaning in schools nationally: they can be given to cleaning supply contractors; they can be used to monitor defaults, to monitor toilets and can also be used as a cleaning monitoring tool (see appendices). More comprehensive daily, monthly and termly/yearly monitoring checklists are available from the Bog Standard campaign website www.bog-standard.org. (Adult section /What you can do/Resources). The benefits of using cleaning products specifically designed for the job cannot be over emphasised. All cleaning supply contractors will be able to supply you with cleaning agents to meet your school’s needs.
The level of decontamination needed depends on the circumstances and will dictate what procedures are required. A number of procedures can be used to achieve good levels of hygienic decontamination. These include:
General cleaning information
Surfaces such as floors, walls and furniture generally offer a low risk of contamination and a low risk of germ transfer. To maintain this low risk, these surfaces should be regularly cleaned (e.g. daily), kept dry and well maintained.
Any carpeted areas should be vacuumed daily as well as steam cleaned on a regular basis (e.g. every 2-3 months and/or as necessary).
Where there is known blood or body fluid contamination (e.g. spills of vomit or faecal material), spills should be cleaned immediately and any contaminated surfaces cleaned and disinfected.
General purpose utility rubber gloves should be used for general environmental cleaning tasks. These should be changed when there is evidence of peeling, cracking and tears. Hands should always be washed after removing gloves/cleaning.
Environmental cleaning cloths should be disposable, made from a non-shedding fibre and used within a colour-coded system (e.g. red for toilets, blue for general areas, green for kitchens). If re-useable cloths have to be used they must be decontaminated after each use and at least once a day. They should also be routinely replaced. Cloths can be decontaminated by hot machine washing (at least 60°C) and then drying them as rapidly as possible either flat or hanging. Cloths/mops used to clean the toilet area must not be used in other areas of the school.
Ideally, mops with heads that can be removed should be used and then washed at high temperatures in the washing machine (as above) at the end of each day. If this is not possible, mop heads should be cleaned and rinsed with a disinfectant, wrung as dry as possible and then dried quickly, preferably at high temperatures and stored with mop head facing upwards (inverted) or hanging. They should not be cleaned in a sink that is used for food preparation nor should they be left soaking in dirty water. All mop buckets should be easily cleanable (plastic) and kept clean and dry after use.
It is important when using bleach (hypochlorite), in particular, that COSHH regulation and manufacturers' instructions are adhered to. Gloves should always be used when handling bleach. Any contact with bleach to skin, eyes and mouth should be avoided and bleach should not be used on urine spillages, carpeted, metal or wooden surfaces. Bleach should always be used in a well-ventilated room/area.
It is important that the correct type of cleaning agent (see Table 1) in the correct concentration is used for the type of decontamination/cleaning required, as per manufacturers' instructions. Manufactured detergent/disinfectant product containers with spray nozzles should ideally be purchased for easy use. Commercial brands are advocated over 'home made' squeezable bottles or containers with spray nozzles which can readily become contaminated during the 'topping up' process.
If the latter are used they must be labelled with the safety instructions and hazard warnings that appear on the original container and fresh solutions used daily. These spray bottles should also be washed and dried daily. Always clean an area after removal of disinfectant with a freshly prepared solution of detergent and water.© Copyright Bog Standard - Better Toilets for Pupils