COVID-19: Disinfecting Your Business without Breaking the Bank
Without a doubt, 2020 was a challenging year for many businesses due to the impacts of COVID-19. Now that we’re officially into 2021, and as we move forward throughout the year, we will continue to see the effects of the virus in businesses of all types and sizes.
Problem: Sanitizing the Business
As a risk management professional serving our convenience store (C-Store) segment, one area where my clients have experienced challenges is keeping stores and corporate offices clean and disinfected to create a safe customer environment.
I recently spoke to a few convenience store owners who indicated their average cost for a third-party service is around $2,000 per cleaning. As you can imagine, this significantly impacts their bottom line.
Knowing that, I began to think, “Is there a way to clean and disinfect a C-Store without incurring this $2,000 expense?”
Solution: Effective and Approved Cleaning Products
I started to research the topic and talk with colleagues. I discovered multiple products that provide similar levels of cleaning at a fraction of the cost. Now, this will likely add some additional cleaning activities to your usual housekeeping practices, but your business may find the cost savings more than justify the extra effort.
Although there are many cleaning options available and you should investigate each based on your unique situation (e.g., state laws, existing suppliers, etc.), here are just a few of the products I uncovered in my research:
Momar Neutra-Dis Lemon and First-Mate Concentrate
These are just two of the products on the EPA List N of Approved Disinfectants for SARS-CoV-2 (the cause of COVID-19). The EPA expects all products on List N to kill COVID-19 when used according to the label directions.
Hudson Electric Atomizer Sprayer
The Hudson Electric Atomizer Sprayer is being used to disinfect public, general office, and food preparation areas using one of the approved disinfectants. It’s lightweight (holding two gallons of liquid) and allows stores to be disinfected in a reasonable timeframe without the need for repeatedly triggering spray bottles or wiping surfaces. The cost is just a few hundred dollars.
Notes to Keep in Mind
If you decide to bring disinfecting operations in-house, there are several things to keep in mind:
Look to the Experts
Follow the advice of the experts, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These agencies have jointly created the following resources, which are must reads for any business prior to beginning an in-house cleaning and disinfecting program:
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Decision Tool
- Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes
Train Workers on Safe Cleaning Techniques
This includes how to read and understand the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the product in use, which types of personal protective equipment (PPE) are needed, how to clean up spills, safe storage of chemicals, and more.
The EPA has released a one-page document titled “6 Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use” to help outline your employee training program.
Know You’re Not Alone
Various organizations have published information on keep your store safe. Here’s just a few:
- CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting – Plan, Prepare, and Respond
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): COVID-19 Resources
- Back to Work Safely
We know your business is concerned with keeping your customers and employees safe. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! And don’t forget to check out our COVID-19 Resource Center for helpful articles, videos, and blogs.