Creating a safe and healthy indoor space is key to successfully operating any business and ensuring the well-being and safety of workers and building patrons.
Since the pandemic, more people have become conscious of issues related to the spread of germs and illness and as a result have increased expectations regarding cleanliness, especially when it comes to returning to work or going into public places.
According to research done by Open Works in 2021, employees were more concerned about disinfecting and cleaning in the workplace than they were in May of 2020 with one-third of employees saying, “not enough is being done.”
The survey went on to point out that “73% of employees expected their workplace to be cleaned daily,” while 62% of respondents want their “workspace disinfected daily.”
The heightened awareness around the health and cleanliness of indoor spaces is here to stay. As such, businesses will need to continue to stay on top of daily cleaning routines, meet increased expectations, and address the increased scope of work for their cleaning teams.
The key to tackling these expectations is knowing some of the major sources of contamination. Flooring, for example, is one of the largest high-touch surfaces and should not be ignored.
While the focus has largely been on sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces most frequently touched by hands, it is important to note that floors play a significant role in overall building health and cleanliness.
An article published by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) notes “Flooring surfaces are in-fact high-touch surfaces and need to be included in routine cleaning as well as disinfection and sanitization protocols.”
The IICRC goes on to point out that due to the severity of some contaminants that can be tracked on to floors, it is imperative that floor cleaning routines include the proper vacuuming, scrubbing, and use of sanitizers and disinfectants specified for each flooring type to help stop the spread of germs and pollutants throughout a space.
There are many other reasons why consistently cleaning your floors is important. We have a list of the top five below.
There are many things to consider when understanding why floor cleaning is so important to our health, but here are a few:
Using autonomous floor cleaning equipment, like Cobi 18 by ICE Cobotics, can help keep buildings cleaner and safer for anyone utilizing the space. This is because deploying autonomous solutions helps staff keep up with the workload.
When it comes to cleaning, the scope of work is often incredibly challenging. This is even more true now since cleaning expectations have resulted in more detailed work being added to lists as top priorities.
Cobi 18, a cobot (collaborative robot), can be easily deployed by any staff member. Once the cobot is deployed, staff are free to focus on other cleaning tasks like bathrooms, dusting, increased disinfecting of common work areas and more.
Not only does this increase productivity of staff, but because Cobi utilizes advanced AI, it learns the routes it is taught and gets better over time. This leads to more efficient cleaning.
And lastly, since it can be deployed easily throughout the day, floor cleaning can be done more consistently, resulting in cleaner floors and healthier spaces.
Floors can accumulate dust, dirt, and other particles that can affect the air quality inside buildings. When people walk on dirty floors, these particles can become airborne, and people can inhale them, which can cause respiratory problems.
Additionally, floors that have cracks or creases can collect particles and provide places for mold to grow if not cleaned regularly.
According to Pegasus Janitorial Services “Mold can significantly impact indoor air quality because it releases spores in the air. When this happens, indoor air quality can suffer, affecting the overall health of employees, clients, and business partners. It can be particularly problematic for people who have chronic respiratory conditions, such as allergies and asthma.”
Consistent floor cleaning with the right processes and cleaners can help improve air quality and reduce the risk of air quality related health issues.
Research continues to show that viruses can be transmitted through the air. The Coronavirus is the most notable example, however, even the common cold can travel through the air we breathe.
Interestingly, these virus particles also settle to surfaces and can be redistributed when stirred back up due to touch. This is true for the particles that land on flooring too.
In fact, research done by the CDC demonstrates how coronavirus particles were tracked from patient treatment rooms to other parts of a hospital on the shoes of doctors and nurses.
As ISSA points out “As the largest horizontal surface in a building, the floor is a breeding ground for all types of germs and contaminants. Appropriate cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting guidelines and regular floor maintenance are key components to successful infection-risk mitigation.”
The use of floor cleaning equipment along with proper sanitizers and disinfectants works to help eliminate viruses on floors thus reducing the likelihood of them being dispersed back into the air.
Dirty or wet floors can be slippery and increase the risk of slips and falls, which can lead to serious injuries. For example, if someone spills water or oil on the floor, it can make the surface very slippery.
Keeping your floors maintained and clean is imperative to the safety of everyone in your building.
According to SFM, a workers compensation company, some of the best practices for keeping floors clean and safe are using consistent floor cleaning protocols that include:
Slip, trip and fall accidents are the cause of numerous preventable injuries every year and most of the time these are preventable with proper floor care and upkeep.
Dirt, sand, and other particles can scratch and damage floors over time. By keeping floors clean, you can prevent this damage and extend the life of the flooring. For example, if you have hardwood floors, dirt and sand can scratch the surface and make it look dull.
Additionally, not keeping up with routine floor care, resulting in disrepair, can cause injuries from chipped or missing tiles or sections of flooring.
Routine floor care helps you and your team monitor aging flooring (meaning you can replace and repair more regularly), it can help to keep water damage at bay with increased attention to problem areas and helps to make sure spills or leaks are cleaned up immediately. All of this can help keep your floors looking new and shiny.
Clean floors are essential for maintaining a safe, healthy, and inviting environment. They can prevent accidents, improve indoor air quality, reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, maintain the appearance of the space, and prevent damage to the floors.
ICE Cobotics is a technology and cleaning equipment company specializing in automation. If you would like more information on Cobi 18, please reach out to our automation experts.
Note: This blog was originally published March 2021 and has been updated as of April 11, 2023.