Safety in the workplace is nothing new for employers, but since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic it’s taken on a whole new meaning, not least in the healthcare sector.
Over the past year our NHS staff have literally put their lives on the line to tackle a new virus that has killed thousands of healthy people – but even without a pandemic to contend with, frontline healthcare workers put themselves at risk on daily basis.
Health and social care workers are statistically more likely than workers in any other sector to suffer from work-related ill health, and the economic costs of this are also higher than for any other sector – estimated at around £3 billion per year.
Maximising employee wellbeing and minimising risk poses a constant challenge for NHS managers, and the strategies for doing so are always evolving as new technologies and guidelines come to the fore.
Reducing health risks
Using VIRONEX for clinical disinfection is one way that managers can protect staff from some common health hazards in the workplace.
There are currently three main methods for terminal disinfection in hospital environments – manual disinfection using wipes and sprays, hydrogen peroxide vapour which is reserved for particular circumstances, and UVC disinfection.
The most widely used of these is still manual disinfection which poses a number of health issues for staff. This process is normally done using chlorine-based disinfectants supplied in granule or powder form. Staff have to mix the disinfectant solution to the required concentration before use, which exposes them to caustic concentrated ingredients and also to noxious fumes which are released as the concentrate dissolves in water. Once mixed, the chlorine-based solution is as harsh on skin as it is on surfaces.
A high proportion of healthcare workers suffer from contact dermatitis – the rate per 100,000 workers is double that for all other industries. Dermatitis causes painful redness, cracking, dryness, itching and crusting of the skin that can result in long periods of sickness absence from work and also puts workers at a higher risk for other infections.
There is also evidence that persistent, low-level exposure to the compounds in cleaning products can cause irritant-induced occupational asthma, or a worsening of existing asthma and other respiratory conditions in healthcare staff who are regularly exposed to fumes or aerosols from cleaning products.
VIRONEX eliminates these concerns due to its advanced formulation and unique delivery system. Proven effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores, it’s designed to protect against infection – but it also safeguards the skin and respiratory health of staff.
Because VIRONEX is ready mixed, there’s no measuring or mixing and staff never need to come in contact with caustic compounds such as chlorine or ammonia. The formula is applied using a spray wand that delivers a localised, fine mist spray onto surfaces with no need to wipe down, further reducing the potential for skin exposure.
VIRONEX’s spray density itself has been carefully engineered to 20 microns which ensures widespread surface coverage that also drops out of suspension in seconds. The spray droplets don’t float around in the air for a long time, so there’s a minimal risk of inhalation, unlike with some other methods. The formula itself is free from alcohol and aldehydes, and has a mild citrus scent which makes it both safe and pleasant to use.
Add to this the fact that VIRONEX is quick and easy to apply with no advanced training or specialist PPE required, and that it can turn patient bays and emergency vehicles around in less than 10 minutes between patients, and it’s no wonder the NHS staff we’ve spoken to love it!
To find out more about how VIRONEX can protect against infection while also safeguarding staff from harmful chemical exposure, get in touch.