Hospitals and factories are often regarded are sterile environments, a fact that is not usually so comforting. In terms of cleanliness however, it is expected and understood that the services are maintained at a level of cleanliness that prevents spread of disease or cross-contamination. Stringent guidelines and specific processes for hospital and factory cleaning are aimed at maintaining a standard of cleanliness across facilities by Activa Cleaning Services
The steady flow of patients through hospital means that the risk of infection or transmission of bacteria is heightened. This makes the practice of proper hospital cleaning important. Proper maintenance of clean hospital environments aids in the prevention of the spreading of potentially harmful organisms causing health care associated infections. The World Health Organisation estimates that over 1.4 million people are affected by health care associated infections at any one time. Effective cleaning measures in healthcare institutions have the ability to drastically reduce the incidents of infections such as Golden Staph or Hospital Acquired Pneumonia.
The operating theatre has been identified as an area of very high risk in terms of infection and transmission of bacteria to patients and staff. Hospital cleaning services (whether in house or contracted) need to focus on the proper cleaning of surgical instruments as well as other high risk areas such as door handles and external fixtures. In order to effectively clean these areas appropriate products such as concentrated sanitisers and disinfectants must be used. In order to maintain high level of cleanliness, public hospitals in Australia are subject to audits designed to assess cleaning standards and practices.
Factories are also required to comply with similar cleaning standards and procedures, particularly those involved with food production or distribution. Food safety regulations in Australia require factories to be clean, defined as being free from soil including food residue, free from odours and have no visible rust. Once surfaces are cleaned, they are then required to be sanitised in order to fulfil factory cleaning guidelines. The approaches to factory cleaning are slightly different than in hospitals, heavy duty detergent is used and hard scrubbing is required as opposed to soaking methods.
The CSIRO details factors that have implications on the effectiveness of the factory cleaning programs. Floor drains with blockages are one such factors that can provide areas for microorganism to flourish due to water pooling. Overlooked areas are also cited as a potential problem, with staff members not noticing hard to reach or awkward areas such as behind machinery or control buttons. Inadequate training and understanding of the use of chemical products can also have implications on the cleanliness of the premises. Insufficient contact time or temperature can provide an area in which harmful bacteria can grow.
The cleanliness of industrial areas and healthcare facilities and the processes involved are processes often overlooked. The importance of these process is largely misunderstood and is often central to the maintenance of public health and the effective running of both industries.