Decontamination procedures clean an area or object to remove contaminants including chemicals or infectious diseases.
The main three procedures required for decontamination are cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation.
Cleaning the physical removal of contaminants. Cleaning is the first stage of decontamination and removes any dirt, bacteria or organic material from the services that are being contaminated. Any items or areas that need to be disinfected and sterilised must be properly and thoroughly deep-cleaned first. Many contaminated areas can be safely used after having been thoroughly cleaned depending on what the contaminating agent was.
Disinfection is the process of using chemicals to reduce the microbes that are present in an area to a reduced level that can not cause any infection or contamination. Disinfection does not entirely remove them but will reduce them to a level that is not dangerous. Any item or area that needs to be disinfected should be cleaned first.
Sterilisation is the act of removing ALL microbes or spores from any area or object. Medical devices are an example of items that must be completely sterile before use.
Decontamination cleaning is used in any area where there has been exposure to infectious diseases or contaminants and in the current climate decontamination can be used to reduce risk where it may not even be clear that exposure has occurred.
Decontamination cleaning will reduce the risk of infection and illness in the workplace where spores can be spread quickly causing illness. To fight the spread of infectious diseases deep cleaning and disinfection should be carried out regularly to keep employees and customers safe.
The recent coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of implementing good working practices with cleaning. Contact points within workplaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly as a matter of great importance. Desks, computers, and telephones should be cleaned and disinfected to control the spread of bacteria or contaminants and reduce the risk to employers or customers. Regular cleaning will maintain a clean and healthy working environment.
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