Now that we have thoroughly considered the importance of effective infection control measures, we are now ready to examine the implementation of an effective colour coding system.
The first thing to consider is that there is no legislative requirement to operate a colour-coded cleaning regime. However,under COSHH it is generally considered good practice to adopt such a scheme when cleaning commercial premises.
As a result, and given the importance afforded to infection control, the cleaning industry has developed a widely used colour-coding system for all relevant cleaning equipment which should be used in the areas identified by the various colours used with the aim of reducing risks.There are four colours used and these are
Although some companies will adopt systems that incorporate other colours, it is extremely important that once the colour has been designated to particular area, that it is strictly adhered to at all times.
Equipment used in the colour coding regime Ideally all equipment within the different areas should be suitably colour coded. JANGRO manufacture and distribute all of the equipment needed to support such cleaning regimes, including the following items:
• Cleaning cloths • Dish cloths • Disposable cloths • Cleaning sponges • Abrasive cleaning pads • Mop heads • Mop handles • Wringer buckets • Pales • Brooms • Hand brushes • Dust pans • Lobby brushes • Dish brushes • Protective neoprene gloves
All of these items can be incorporated in any regime and are identified in our Safe Working Procedure Guide. Full descriptions of all of the items mentioned above can be found in the Introduction to Equipment Guide.
Ideally, items used to clean a particular area should be securely stored within that area in a room that allows operatives to wash their equipment after use. However, in practice, this is not always possible, meaning that the way in which the equipment is cleaned and stored within a communal room is critical to ensuring that the items do not contaminate one another.
Another important thing to remember is that when different areas are cleaned, the operative should change gloves when changing areas. This will ensure that bacteria is not allowed to contaminate equipment used in other areas during the act of cleaning.
Care must be taken when cleaning equipment and operatives should ensure that items are not allowed to touch one another when drying or in general storage. Let us look at the way this should be approached in relation to the different items:
Cleaning cloths, buckets and pails
All reusable cleaning cloths of different colours should be cleaned and stored separately. After each use, the cloths should remain in the similarly coloured bucket or bowl and taken to the sluice separately. Once the cloths and bucket are at the sluice, the waste solution should be washed away and the inside of the bucket or bowl should be cleaned using the cloths and thoroughly rinsed using clean running water from the tap.
A separate bucket containing a solution of water and bactericidal cleaner should be prepared and used to thoroughly clean all cloths. The cloths should then be rinsed thoroughly using clean running water and wrung out well. They should then be hung to air dry in a designated area within the sluice room on a line or hook.
The bactericidal solution should then be disposed of, the bucket or bowl cleaned and a fresh solution prepared to clean cloths of another colour.
The same process as used for cleaning cloths should be adopted.
Mops Like cleaning cloths all mops should be thoroughly cleaned. After each use they should be thoroughly rinsed and wrung out. The wringer buckets should then rinsed clean. A solution of warm water and bactericidal cleaner can be prepared in the sluice and the mops thoroughly cleaned. They should be rinsed thoroughly and wrung out well.They should then be left to air dry with the head up in a designated area of the store room.
They should be rinsed thoroughly and wrung out well.They should then be left to air dry with the head up in a designated area of the store room. The process should be repeated for each different coloured mop cleaned.
Cleaning sponges and abrasive pads
All cleaning sponges of the same colour should be rinsed and then placed in a bowl containing a solution of warm water and bactericidal cleaner and washed thoroughly, making sure that the solution is passed through the cellular structure numerous times. They should then be squeezed dry and left to air dry in a designated area of the store room.
Protective neoprene gloves
After washing the associated items, the gloves should be removed and washed thoroughly both inside and out. They should then be pulled inside out and left to air dry.
For information and guidance on effective infection control, contact your local Environmental Health Office. Alternatively, your local Jangro supplier will be able to assist you in the development of effective infection control procedures and offer you comprehensive advice on the correct Jangro products to use
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