Lift Hygiene and Safety During the Pandemic
With regard to recent world events and the current state of affairs in the UK, it’s crucial that workplaces, public buildings or any location which utilises lifts, takes responsibility for the general maintenance and overall upkeep of their lifts. This isn’t just relevant now but is also greatly important moving forward as well not just during these difficult and uncertain times but also moving forward.
Frequent lift cleaning is always a good idea and this blog will outline to you the fundamentals of doing this at the moment, as well as hopefully shedding some light on how you can increase your lift hygiene while adhering to recommended guidelines.
Lift Hygiene in the wake of COVID-19
In view of recent events and the spread of COVID-19, there are high standards of cleaning and disinfection which need to be carried out in lifts and are so crucially important to everyone who uses them. Although it’s pretty common knowledge, bacteria and debris are often invisible and make itself very difficult to clean. Shoes often imprint dirt on the floor and in turn, lift users’ hands can leave marks on the handrails and bacteria can become hidden on the surface of the lift buttons which allow us to move between floors.
In many working environments, offices and often larger apartment blocks and flats, the lift is frequently of the first or second space you are likely to enter. At the moment, it is crucial to be mindful of the surfaces we touch, not just for our own safety but for others around us too.
For building owners and facility managers, lift cleaning needs to be a regular activity and certainly cannot be overlooked, particularly at the moment.
To make life a little bit easier and get you on the right track, we have collated some helpful information relating to cleaning your lift so that anyone who steps inside of it, will be safe and able to operate it, travelling between floors with the security and knowledge that your lift is not just in good working order but also – clean.
Where to start
We’d advise using a cloth along with a sanitiser to start with. Use the damp cloth in circular motions to clean the surface of the doors outside of the lift, this may be colour coated or a stainless steel surface but will require the same process of sanitizing. For this step, using cleaning products which are safe for domestic and commercial uses to clean the doors. We advise avoiding sponges for this task as extensive moisture may cause damage to the electrical parts such as any push buttons on the exterior of the lift.
Which products can I use?
The most recent recommended advice is, cleaning an area with normal household disinfectant after someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) has left the area, will lower the risk of passing the infection on to other people, using household cleaning products for this process is fine. Where at all possible, it’s recommended that you use disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons for the cleaning process. These items need to be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then chucked away in a regular bin after the cleaning process is complete.
If a lift has been highly contaminated, and there are visible bodily fluids in the vicinity due to coughing and sneezing from a person with possible coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s advised that you use protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves as well as an apron.
Steps for beginning the cleaning process:
Before proceeding any actions, make sure that you have carried out the following steps:
- Isolated the lift doors – switch the power off
- For home lifts – the lift’s electrical power has been switched off
- For passenger and platform lifts – doors have been isolated
This now means that you will be able to move safely in and out of the lift itself without worrying about lift doors closing or any kind of issue. We advise using any relevant signage to make it known to any potential lift users that they will not be able to use the equipment while you are cleaning. After you have made sure all precautions have been put in place, you are now ready to get started.
Start from the bottom and work your way up
It is highly recommended as a general rule of thumb that you clean the lift starting from the inside working from the bottom and work your way up as this prevents already clean surfaces from being contaminated with any bacteria. It’s always recommended that you use non-corrosive cleaners – no one relishes a lift journey with lingering clinical odours. Using a disposable cloth, you’ll need to wipe down hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these areas with the cleaning products. Ensure that you pay close attention to regularly touched areas and surfaces, such as hand-rails, buttons and door handles.
Clean the lift buttons
Use antibacterial cleaning spray or wipes and wipe the handrails and keypads. Using a microfiber cloth you can remove any embedded dirt, dust or hair. Clean the buttons first with light strokes. Try not to spray directly on the control panel surfaces as there will be an increased risk of damaging the electrical components on the keypad. You don’t want the cleaning liquid to seep inside of the control panel.
Cleaning the lift car and doors
Use a damp cloth to clean the lift doors as well as any steel surfaces. As well as this, you could use a non-abrasive cleaner – also consider that dirt which can fall from the ceiling of the lift. You may require a step ladder varying on the height of the elevator to help you get to the ceiling safely. This permits you to safely clean the ceiling and the higher parts of the lift doors and the lift walls.
We advise you not to use harsh cleaning chemicals to disinfect stainless steel and colour-coated surfaces. These areas are sensitive to certain cleaning products and you might end up causing damage to them. In order to achieve a nice and shiny surface for any stainless steel surface, you can purchase using a few drops of baby oil as well as a cloth to polish them and this will not impact the hygiene of the surface.
An additional pointer is that shoes, trolleys and wheelchairs may transfer all sorts of dirt to your lift car floor, so we recommend cleaning the floor too. There are different flooring surfaces in lifts so we recommend brushing and vacuuming carpeted floors and polish and clean tiles and steel floors.
Cleaning the lift shaft
With regard to general lift maintenance, keeping to the recommended guidelines will help to ensure that your lift is clean and safe. Although, the cleaning of the pit area is also very crucial as much as the interior of the lift itself is. In this instance, only qualified and certified engineers have access to clean the lift pit. Throughout regular maintenance, your lift service provider should proceed with removing dirt, trash and debris.
The bottom line
For additional information, you can refer to the current Government guidance on COVID-19 cleaning in non-healthcare settings here as well as guidance on prevention control in health care settings here.
Euro Lifts – The South West’s Largest Independent Lift Company
With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Euro Lifts is very proud to be the leading lift supplier in the South West region. With a lift engineer for every type of installation, no job is too big or too small for our knowledgeable team. Whether you’d like a cargo lift, passenger lift or stairlift, we can install a solution that suits your needs.
We work with both domestic and commercial clients, enhancing businesses and making home a safe and comfortable place to be. To find out more about the products and services we provide, please feel free to contact us today to find out more. We’d be delighted to help with any enquiries you may have.
And if you are interested in finding out more about the safety measures we are taking amidst COVID-19, you can find out more here.