As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, organisations are facing increasing pressure to assure patrons and employees that their facilities are clean and safe. While some businesses were deemed essential and have remained open, others that closed their doors at the onset of state lockdowns are now reopening. At the same time, some provinces are experiencing a resurgence in cases, which shines an even brighter spotlight on proper procedure and public health and safety.
Facilities are responding by requiring or encouraging guests and staff to wear face masks and implementing social distancing markers and directional cues. Additionally, many are overhauling their approach to cleaning amidst greater scrutiny around what products they use to clean, the safety and efficacy of these solutions and how often they conduct cleaning. Achieving and maintaining the highest hygiene standards is important for building trust and limiting the risk of an outbreak that can result in a prolonged closure of the facility.
Chemical Dispensers Drive Hygiene Compliance
Incidents of infection and contamination can severely damage brand reputation. Many organisations are already struggling financially as a result of the pandemic and can’t afford for customers to have a poor experience or post a negative online review. To maintain clean and safe environments for visitors and employees, facilities need to have the right solutions and processes in place to reduce the spread of pathogens.
Chemical dispensers are integral to accurate, effective and safe cleaning, and help organisations meet new hygiene requirements and expectations. Chemical dispensing systems provide numerous benefits, including:
- Accuracy: Measuring cleaning chemicals accurately is vital to their efficacy and safety. With dispensers that deliver precise chemical measurements every time, you have assurance that your employees are cleaning all high-touch surfaces, floors and more with the right chemical concentrations.
This is particularly important in labour-intensive jobs with high staff turnover. For organisations coping with a reduction in staff due to self-quarantine, illness or layoffs, there’s an added pressure to quickly hire and train employees. With a user-friendly dispenser, both tenured and new staff members can easily learn how to utilise the system to achieve quality cleaning results.
- Reliability: As the pandemic stretches on, reliable cleaning is crucial. Look for a dispensing system manufacturer with a reputation for constructing long-lasting dispensers made from durable materials, and which incorporate the latest technology for optimum operational efficiency. It’s important to find dispensers that are compatible with a wide variety of chemicals to meet your current and future cleaning and disinfecting needs. Dispensers that adjust accordingly when water pressure fluctuates will provide peace of mind that results will always be consistent.
- Safety and compliance: In the rush to improve their approach to cleaning, many organisations have failed to consider how new products or procedures may compromise worker safety. In some cases, employees are using chemicals that they are relatively unfamiliar with due to supply chain issues. Thankfully, dispensers greatly minimise contact with potentially hazardous chemicals that can cause headaches, nausea, skin sensitivities, eye irritations and even burns. Having equipment with easy-to-use interfaces also encourages regular use and compliance with cleaning protocols and regulations.
- Cost and sustainability savings: According to ISSA, dispensing equipment that delivers accurate dilutions reduces cleaning costs up to 30%. The right system will eliminate overuse of chemical and water, thereby helping to limit both the cost and environmental impact of cleaning without sacrificing performance. When frequent cleaning is necessary, chemical dispensers help maintain productivity and keep labour costs from skyrocketing.
Some advanced dispensing systems utilise the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance transparency and eliminate time-consuming visits to the facility. Organisations can run a smooth operation by monitoring chemical usage and shortage, and being aware of alarms triggered throughout the dispensing process. Using advanced equipment will help to identify any patterns and abnormalities before they become a costly or dangerous problem.
Selecting your Dispensing Equipment
There are several important points to consider before investing in a chemical dispensing system. To make the best choice for your facility, review:
- Chemical capacity – Make a list of the types of chemicals that you use most within your business. Review new cleaning standards and requirements for your area and identify any new chemicals that you’ll be using to enhance cleanliness. Some dispensers handle just one to two chemicals, while others have multiple channel configurations to deliver multiple chemicals at varying dilutions. Selecting the right dispenser for your current and future needs will enable you to clean effectively and scale up easily.
- Intended use – Determine who will use the system and how often. Identify whether employees will use the dispenser to fill bottles and buckets, larger equipment such as auto scrubbers or foamers and sprayers. Once the system is installed, you will need to train employees on proper use, so they understand which chemicals to use for different applications.
- Installation requirements – With the need for more regular cleaning, it’s important to identify an accessible area to install dispensing systems. To maximise space, look for dispensers with a small, compact design and a wall-mount option. Consider installing the equipment near high touchpoint areas and common areas, making it easy for staff to access and use the system. Pre-plumbed dispensers allow for quick installation and simple operation of the system.
- Water flow and pressure capabilities – Water flow and pressure can vary from building to building, and even from one area in a facility to another. Dispensers without water pressure regulation can result in inconsistent dilution rates. To manage high water pressure, look for a dispensing system with a component to regulate the pressure and eliminate dilution variance by controlling the amount of water allowed into the unit.
- Intelligent features – Search for a smart system offering features such as predictive maintenance, remote monitoring and automated adjustments. It is also important to invest in accessories like depletion alarms and wands to measure and report when product runs low. These features provide extra reassurance when you’re not physically in your facility and maximise dispensing capabilities.
A New Era of Cleanliness
Whether your facility is currently open with social distancing measures in place or you’re considering welcoming employees and guests back soon, it’s important to fine tune your hygiene protocols and practices. Building residents and visitors expect cleaning to be more frequent and visible given the risk of COVID-19 infection. Employing chemical dispensing and dosing equipment and software is one of the most effective ways to drive hygiene compliance and enable regular and effective cleaning. Solutions that ensure accurate, safe and cost-effective dosing will enable staff to clean with confidence during and after the pandemic, and help your organisation uphold its reputation, enhance employee well-being and support the bottom line.
Matt Hayas is global product manager for Hydro Systems. For more information about Hydro Systems, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of chemical injecting, proportioning, dispensing and medicating equipment, visit www.hydrosystemsco.com.