DIV18/55: Protecting Delegates from Infections (9 October 2019)

Issue Date: 9 October 2019
Ref: DIV18/55


Protecting Delegates from Infections

Autumn and winter present a unique set of cleaning and hygiene challenges to building care teams responsible for meeting and conference facilities. Not least of these is the increase in seasonal illnesses such as Influenza and Norovirus that can wreak havoc when people are brought together in confined areas. These and other illnesses can spoil the event but also have long term impacts on the venue and its reputation. Diversey offers a complete set of highly effective products that help venues mitigate these risks at this critical time.

Around 80 per cent of all infectious diseases are spread by personal contact or touching a contaminated surface. This is why hand hygiene is so important in the fight against the spread of any infection. It is also relatively easy to implement and should therefore be the first line of defence. 

Meeting and conference venues can help their staff and visitors maintain good hand hygiene by ensuring washrooms and toilets are equipped with reliable wall-mounted soap dispensers, such as Diversey’s new IntelliCare system, filled with a suitable hand hygiene product. The proper washing of hands with normal soap and water is often enough to remove soiling and ensure good hygiene.

Another way to promote effective hand hygiene is to position wall-mounted dispensers filled with hand disinfectant around the facility, for example, near entrances to busy rooms. An alternative approach is to place portable or floor mounted dispensers in numerous locations for convenient and quick access. Staff, organisers and event attendees can disinfect their hands using a product such as Soft Care Med H5 whenever they want without leaving the conference area.
The second thrust of infection prevention should focus on hard surfaces, especially those that people are likely to touch such as table tops and other furniture. Particular attention should be paid to frequent-touch hot spots such as door knobs and light switches. It is also sensible to concentrate on shared items such a remote display controllers and other audio-visual equipment.

Keeping surfaces such as these clean and hygienic does not necessarily require any special processes. Replacing conventional products with a cleaner-disinfectant with proven infection prevention properties is easy to do and ensures that most surfaces are disinfected as a matter of routine during daily cleaning.

Diversey offers a number of products containing innovative Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) as the active ingredient. Oxivir Excel, for example, is a fast-acting cleaner-disinfectant that can replace general surface cleaning products for routine tasks. Effective against viruses such as Norovirus in just 30 seconds, it provides affordable ongoing infection protection.

AHP is a patented blend of commonly used, safe ingredients that when combined with low levels of hydrogen peroxide dramatically increase its germicidal potency and cleaning performance. Tested to the latest EN standards, disinfectants containing AHP are highly effective against a wide range of viruses, spores, yeasts, and fungi including Influenza, Norovirus, Clostridium difficile (C. diff), MRSA, E. coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This broad-spectrum efficacy simplifies cleaning processes because just one product is needed.

Diversey also offers disposable ready-to-use Oxivir Excel wipes. Convenient for on-the-spot use these are also ideal for giving portable or high touch items such as remote controls a quick clean. A ready-to-use Oxivir Spill Kit is also available for acting quickly to contain and remove body spillages. These kits are like first-aid kits for body spillages and also contain a 750ml Oxivir Excel spray, along with absorbent granules and all the personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to deal with spillages.

Products that contain AHP offer an effective alternative to formulations with chlorine compounds as the active ingredient. AHP degrades to oxygen and water alone shortly after use which helps make formulations containing it safer to use on a wider range of surfaces. Chlorine-based products are suspected of aggravating asthma and other respiratory problems and forming chlorine compounds in the atmosphere. This is one of the reasons why these disinfectants are being replaced by alternative products, especially where lots of people may be present. Another is that many AHP-based formulations have no safety classification whereas chlorine-based products usually carry a hazard symbol.