Washroom etiquette and the spread of Coronavirus
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, there are everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Employees must avoid close contact with people who are sick. Employers have a duty to ensure that staff who are unwell do not attend a workplace where other employees, customers or the public may be subject to cross infection – they must stay at home when they are sick. All employees must also be encouraged to cover their mouth and nose if they cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the rubbish bin.
Employers must provide instructions to employees to ensure that they wash their hands often - with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the washroom; before eating; and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol should be provided. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Employers and cleaning or FM companies must ensure that the washrooms and workplaces that they are responsible for are cleaned regularly and effectively to pre-defined schedules especially frequently touched objects and surfaces i.e. WCs, toilet tissue dispensers washbasins, urinals, cubicle and toilets entrance door handles, hand dryers, soap dispensers, sanitary waste dispensers, vanity shelves etc. Scientists have discovered why the Wuhan strain of coronavirus is spreading so rapidly – it can survive on surfaces for up to 9 days - more than four times longer than the flu virus.
It is good practice to record the date and time each washroom is cleaned including a record of any remedial work that is required and when it is completed e.g. defective hand dryers or soap dispensers.
Entrants in Loo of the Year Awards receive a thorough and independent assessment of their washroom provision and can receive a written report with recommendations for improvements. The Loo Advice tab of this website also includes information and advice on Toilet Design, Best Practice and Cleaning Guidelines for washroom providers.