Editor’s note: Visit the official Western COVID-19 website for the latest campus updates.
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Thanks to one campus team, Western staffers at the wheel keep rolling along – safe and sanitized.
Facilities Management essential staff continues to report to campus on a rotating schedule – 13 on-site daily across five different shops, including the Power Plant. Workers provide 24/7 emergency support while managers remain on a rotation schedule, with at least one on site each day.
In order to protect those who remain on campus, sterilization measures have intensified, including wiping down equipment and touch points in a variety of areas. Special attention is also being paid to the 48 fleet vehicles, along with landscaping equipment and five Campus Police and Fire Safety vehicles.
Preventative management has always been in place for the mechanical operation of the fleet. But with 90 staffers sharing the vehicles, interior attention during the pandemic is key.
“As we started looking at protocol for daily cleaning and wiping of high-touch surfaces, it was clear we needed to take a fresh start,” said Bryan Wakefield, Director of Facilities Operations, who partnered with London-based All Clear Disinfecting on the project.
“Our operations team continues to sanitize tools and equipment when working on campus. This is an added layer of protection.”
Prior to renewed disinfecting of all vehicles, a baseline sample was taken by swabbing the handles and interior of one vehicle. Using an ATP (adenosine triphosphate) test, it quickly measures actively growing microorganisms, with a level of 200 or lower being acceptable and 500 or greater a potential hazard.
After treatment with non-toxic anti-microbial products, SteraMist and Microbe Shield, the steering wheel from came back with an ATP of 99, while the shifter came in at 5. Anything less than 30 would be considered food-grade acceptable.
All vehicles have since received similar sanitizing treatment, which provides an active protectant for 30 days. Wakefield said this offers peace of mind for him and his team around their continued safety while on the job.
“This allows Facilities Management trades to focus on their essential work they do and just wipe down the high-touch points, such as their door handles, steering wheel, etc., on a daily basis using disinfecting wipes,” he said.
Bottles of hand sanitizer have also been distributed to each employee to ensure they can clean their hands while in the field getting in and out of the vehicles.
Wakefield anticipates this proactive approach will “play a big role” in contributing to the safety and health of his team, who continue to provide essential services to the campus community.
“We recognize these are challenging and unprecedented times for all of us. We want to appreciate and thank the essential service workers and those who continue to report to work on the front lines to support our operations and communities as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic.”