Promote the highest standards of safety and sanitisation in your education institution
The unprecedented health events of 2020 have heavily impacted all areas of life, not least educational institutions from early years and schools to TAFE colleges and universities. Following the huge disruption caused by the closure of physical learning premises, the suspension of face to face teaching and the continuation of education through distance learning initiatives, educational institutions are now facing the challenges that come with the easing of restrictions and returning to the classroom under the increased health concerns that have become the ‘new normal’. While the situation is constantly developing, it is clear that strong procedures for maintaining a high level of cleanliness and hygiene will be a paramount concern. This is true both in terms of effectively cleaning surfaces and encouraging best practices in personal hygiene such as hand washing among staff and students.
Sanitisation is the key to preventing the spread of microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses in public places and communal areas. Desks, worktops, door handles, utensils and other touchable surfaces should be sanitised regularly to reduce the number of germs transmitted through touching surfaces as students go about their day. Precautions should also be taken to sanitise bathrooms and floors which are often high-traffic areas and, thus, a breeding ground for microorganisms. To reduce the risk of students coming into contact with viruses and bacteria it is essential to use sanitising products with a high alcohol content and clean surfaces with soap and water prior to sanitisation to prevent dirt and oils from impacting the performance of the sanitisation products.
Staff and students should also be encouraged to learn correct hand washing techniques to reduce the risk of infection. Recent guidelines state that hands should be washed regularly with soap and water for at least twenty seconds to destroy any viruses or bacteria picked up by touching surfaces. Be sure to place posters around the public bathrooms to reinforce the correct hand washing techniques. Where soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitiser presents a suitable alternative to ensure that hands are clean. Check the label on your hand sanitiser to ensure that it is over 60% alcohol and therefore effective against viruses and bacteria.
Commercial kitchen supplies such as disposable gloves are most often associated with restaurants and cafes but are equally vital in settings such as schools, especially bearing in mind that children do not have fully developed immune systems and can therefore be more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Disposable gloves have been a more common sight in recent months and can be part of a wider safety plan when moving between areas and tasks. Disposable gloves should be replaced every 30 minutes or so to prevent the spread of infection. Other commercial kitchen supplies are specifically designed to educate and consistently reinforce appropriate safety and hygiene practices across a broad range of topics.
Take a look at the Fildes Food Safety range of educational posters designed to promote best practices for hygiene and safety in education institutions:
- Hand sanitising stations have become a part of everyday life but it is important to remember sanitiser is most effective when used correctly as this poster clearly explains.
- How to wash hands correctly has also been one of the key health messages of recent months and an illustrated poster can help ensure the correct practice is followed.
- Top ten habits of dirty hands encourages students and staff to be mindful of the specific actions which can add to the risk of unclean hands including coughing and touching your face.
- First aid remains a vital safety consideration for all educational facilities and this poster allows immediate identification of first aid supply points.
- Fire blankets are another indispensable part of any safety plan and should be prominently marked.
For educational resources that are easily distributable around your early learning centre, school, TAFE or university visit our page.