Careful cleaning became the new norm
The support and advice of the supervisor helped the cleaner Johanna Aho, especially at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, when uncertainty about her own safety and the safety of others weighed on her mind.
”I’ve noticed that people now wash their hands diligently in the workplace, as there are far more used paper tissues in trash cans than before and a new reel in towel dispensers has to be replaced much more often than in the pre-coronavirus period.
People use hand sanitisers a lot and at least my client companies have hand sanitisers and face masks for staff in the lobbies. So, it seems that workplaces have taken the fight against the coronavirus seriously.
We have received praise from customers for our work during the pandemic. It has been gratifying that we have been asked what could be done to facilitate our work. One small but relevant step, for example, is moving those wheeled fruit boxes out of the way to help cleaning in the store.
The supervisor personally showed me how to wear protective clothing.
When the number of infections began to rise in Finland in March last year, I noticed that offices went quieter and people started working from home, but at the copper plant, for example, the staff continued to work as usual.
The first thing to learn was to use personal protective equipment and to change them often enough.
Many customers requested enhanced cleaning, which essentially means disinfecting all contact surfaces.
I got good advice from my supervisor right at the beginning of the pandemic, and I have been asked all the time about coping and that everything is fine. The supervisor personally showed me how to wear protective clothing.
It all was a bit scary at first when we knew so little about the virus. Today, it has become almost an everyday routine. I make sure that I go to work healthy and protect myself with a face mask and gloves according to the instructions.
Sometimes I even have to wear a protective coverall and shoe covers if the room to be cleaned has been exposed to the virus, and the whole place needs to be sprayed with disinfectant from floor to ceiling and even behind the radiators.
Nowadays, in addition to the surfaces, we also wipe door handles, light switches and chair backs automatically – all surfaces that people touch during the working day. It has become a routine that will hopefully stay in our way of working.
It has also changed that if I have a small flu, I more easily stay at home and don’t go to work. Before, I took painkillers and went to work, but not anymore. It is, of course, because of the coronavirus that we have to be especially careful about our health, but that practice should remain also in the future. The downside, of course, is that it is sometimes difficult to get replacement staff.”
Johanna Aho works as a cleaner at Lassila & Tikanoja in Pori.