It has been said that cleanliness is next to godliness. Whatever that means to you – or meant to the original source of that statement – it is of far greater operational weight that cleanliness is next to good health and productivity, thus productivity we all seek is predicated upon cleanliness.
The varieties of cleanliness that have traditionally been emphasized are those that are most visible to the human eye: removal of dirt, shining or polishing to a bright even tone, blowing or wiping away dust. These criteria are applied everywhere to everyone, for the most part. In the operational standards of a business, particularly a production-oriented business such as a factory, the criteria are extended to orderliness. Parts get kitted faster when they are always in the same place, in countable arrays. Tools can be found when needed if they are returned to an assigned location. All of this is a valid application of behaviors that in another setting might be diagnosed or dismissed as OCD. The line that separates good business practice from OCD is simply “does it contribute to productivity?”.
No element of cleanliness in the workplace is more contributive to productivity than effective sanitation – the elimination of infectious microbes. Regardless of how orderly or shiny the environment is, if it harbors bacteria and viruses, there will eventually be no employees to kit those readily identified parts or use those readily located tools. The blower, vacuum, or shop rag that is used to remove dust or polish surfaces may actually be spreading microbes in the process, increasing the likelihood of infection – reducing productivity.
So, what’s a workplace to do? What constitutes clean in a health-oriented discussion? Everything – every surface touched by workers – needs to be free of infectious microbes. In order for that to happen, workers need to remove microbes from their hands as much as possible, with hand sanitizers, hot water, soaps and through and frequent hand-washing. That process cannot provide a guaranteed removal of all microbes though, nor can it remove airborne microbes that settle where they will, whether exhaled from the workers or carried in through the HVAC. So, the primary environmental action to prevent infectious outbreaks and thereby insure continued productivity, is to (a) thoroughly clean and (b) disinfect all of the surfaces in the workplace – on a daily basis. Anyone in business knows that when you rely on protocols that aim to address “all” of anything – breakdowns are inevitable. In this case, breakdowns equal exposure of your employees to illness causing microbes. So what to do? There are technologies out there that don’t rely on human labor that may miss areas or unintentionally spread microbes through flawed practices. SafeHandles™ products provide the KO punch for all bacteria, viruses, and funguses on contact. Once installed, they work non-stop to reduce the presence of microbes, that’s cleanliness and productivity insurance in one package.