Five Disinfecting Essentials You Should Know to Fight Covid-19
By Claudia Newcorn - Freelance Writer
Cleaning regularly is essential to control the coronavirus. As companies continue to wrestle with preventing exposure to employees, customers and the public, they are recognizing the need to implement new cleaning standards and stricter, more frequent cleaning requirements. As part of this shift, the need for effective disinfecting protocols that provide maximum productivity and efficiency raises key questions about equipment and new best practices.
Disinfecting Protocol Essentials
Many firms are utilizing sprayers as a tool to optimize both productivity and application results. However, as with all equipment, it’s important to follow these practices to optimize results.
Understand What Chemicals are in your Disinfectant
Review the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) which provides chemical types and concentration and the required PPE equipment for different application methods. For example, a chlorine-based disinfectant when applied through a high-volume sprayer or fogger requires special masks and personal protective equipment to avoid any inhalation or skin contact. Other issues include mixing and shelf life. If you have to mix it, then you are required to have standard written protocols for your staff to follow. Shelf life on some products can be as little as one day to 30 days after mixing.
Know Your Options on Sprayers/Foggers
Sprayers and foggers are either hand-held or backpack style and available in hand pump, electric, or battery powered. Electrostatic sprayers are available in electric or battery powered. You should choose a sprayer depending on your budget, the square footage and areas you need to disinfect, and the planned spraying frequency.
Make the right choice on Equipment
Many times, there is a need for more than one type of device in a facility due to the different premises, how they are used, and the number of people that need to be able to use the devices. Here are some helpful ways to evaluate spraying equipment.
Hand Pump sprayers are good for small areas, and require little training to use. They are not practical for larger areas because they are slow to use and reduce productivity because of the need for multiple refills. Plus they create operator fatigue due the constant pulling of the triggers and pumping the device.
Electric sprayers are ideal for medium and large areas, and come in a variety of equipment styles, ranging from handheld and backpack, in both electric and battery powered.
Electrostatic sprayers are ideal for all areas and differ from other types of sprayers in that a positive charge is applied to the disinfectant solution as it exits the spray nozzle. These charged particles are naturally attracted to and adhere to negative-charged surfaces (most things are naturally negative charged). Electrostatic sprayers are ideal for applying disinfectants because they provide coverage on complex and hard to reach surfaces.
An added advantage to electrostatic sprayers is that they are not “line of sight” technology. Meaning if the object or surface is not visible, it is not being disinfected. Because of the charged molecules, the disinfectant will wrap around objects, allowing them to get into tight cracks, crevices and areas that traditional cleaning methods can’t reach. Another advantage: electrostatic sprayers use less disinfectant – a gallon is able to cover a much greater area as compared to other types of sprayers.
A consistent, controlled spray is key to effective disinfecting. Choose a sprayer with an adjustable nozzle and appropriate length wand to give you the control you need. Hold the wand and spray back and forth evenly. Complete and even coverage is important.
As with any chemical or piece of equipment, wear the appropriate protective gear and follow all manufacturer instructions. Establish a regular disinfecting schedule and make sure you maintain adequate disinfectant supplies. Many vendors can set you up with an automatic restocking system.
Be aware that there are CDC-registered EPA-approved disinfectants available that are food and pet safe and don’t require special PPE; and that there is the right sprayer equipment that will optimize disinfectant application for your facility.
Throughout the pandemic, North Bay Equipment / Hotsy Pacific continue to work closely with wineries to help them develop tailored disinfecting and sanitizing strategies. “We’re helping wineries and other manufacturers to review their disinfecting and sanitizing practices,” explains Michael Coleman, Sales & Marketing Manager at Hotsy Pacific, “and helping them determine the best equipment and resources available to meet their need. As a solutions-provider, our goal is to guide them on developing cost-effective practical protocols and to select the right equipment that will reduce risk and improve safety. We believe it’s our responsibility to help.”
The State provides detailed re-opening guidelines and checklists at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/#top for the beverage, food and manufacturing industries (scroll down to find Manufacturing).
About North Bay Equipment - Hotsy Pacific
Proud to support and be a member of Northern California wine growers associations for over 30 years, and with a Center in Santa Rosa, market leader Hotsy Pacific works with hundreds of wineries throughout Northern California. Offering free Strategic Disinfecting & Sanitizing consultations, the company specializes in custom solutions tailored to client needs, as well as cleaning and sanitation equipment sales, rentals, service and repair. They have been recognized as the “go to” company for smart, cost-effective solutions designed to improve productivity, reduce labor costs, and deliver the necessary results, they serve hundreds of wineries, breweries, food manufacturers, ag businesses and more (www.HotsyPacific.net).