Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

May 07, 2020

CDC issues guidance on cleaning businesses and public spaces

COVID-19Safety and Health 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued detailed instructions on cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes to help keep them free of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Much of the focus revolves around developing and implementing plans to maintain spaces in a clean and hygienic state as reopening continues. As an employer, you should carefully review this guidance as part of your efforts to maintain a safe work environment.

The guidance refers to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s list of disinfectants that kill the COVID-19 virus. The advice outlines three main components of disinfecting spaces: (1) Develop a plan; (2) Implement the plan; and (3) Maintain and revise the plan. The CDC instructions include specific strategies for cleaning different types of surfaces, such as porous versus non-porous surfaces. Significantly, the CDC says that areas that have been unoccupied for at least seven days don’t require special disinfecting protocols; normal, routine cleaning will suffice because COVID-19 hasn’t been shown to survive on surfaces for a full week.

Tips For Employers: In addition to killing the virus, taking the steps outlined in the guidance may help alleviate employees’ fears about the risk of exposure in the workplace. It’s a good idea to communicate details about your plan to employees as a way to reassure them that the workplace is safe.

If your business is contemplating reopening, review the CDC’s guidance. It’s not too soon to begin developing a plan for your organization. Vigilant members are encouraged to contact their Vigilant safety professional with questions about cleaning and disinfecting the workplace.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.