Environmental Safety in the Workplace

Keeping a clean work environment is an important aspect of reopening your business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business owners and leaders of non-profit organizations can look to the governor's office and the state health departments, including the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA), and World Health Organization (WHO) for guidance on infection control and COVID-19.

Regular Cleaning

Clean the workplace on a regular basis. Consult this list of products recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that meet criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Make sure your cleaning staff has adequate personal protective equipment and good ventilation when using cleaning chemicals.

Do not combine cleaning products.

It is important to read the labels on all cleaning products and follow the directions on how long to leave the cleaner on before you wipe.  Train your employees and cleaning staff to follow these instructions closely.

High-Touch Surfaces

Consistent with current guidelines from the CDC, instruct cleaning staff to pay close attention to all horizontal and vertical surfaces that are frequently touched, which can include keyboards, tables and counters, door knobs or push bars and light switches. These high-touch surfaces should be cleaned frequently. Clean self-pay stations, which operate on touchpads, as frequently as possible. 

Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.  Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, other work tools and equipment) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

In this video, infectious disease specialist Keith Armitage, MD, of the UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine & Global Health, discusses how long coronavirus can live on surfaces.

Deep Cleanings

CDC guidelines recommend increasing the frequency of deep cleanings. A deep cleaning goes beyond wiping high-touch areas alone, and can include:

  • Entire walls
  • Entire doors
  • Bottom of office chairs
  • Hard scrubbing of floors
  • Wall moldings
  • Entire elevator cars
  • Entire stairway handrails
  • Window sills
  • Door jambs
  • Carpet extraction
  • Entire bathroom
  • Entire kitchens

Environmental Controls

In accordance with applicable state and federal guidelines, consider:

  • Installing acrylic shields where employees and customers have frequent contact, such as check-outs.
  • Installing high-efficiency particulate absorbing filters in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Additional Information

University Hospitals now offers consultative and advisory services to help your organization jump-start its reopening. To inquire about our services, complete this form and a team member will respond within two business days.


This website is intended for informational purposes only. This website should not be used as a replacement for medical or legal advice. Employers are solely responsible for complying with all applicable legal requirements and making decisions regarding their operations and employees based on their individual circumstances.

As things, including applicable guidelines, are changing quickly, the information on this website is current as of the last update. We are working to keep it as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Although this content is reviewed and approved by healthcare professionals, UH does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any of this information or that it represents the most up-to-date information and UH is not responsible for any errors or omissions or actions taken in reliance or from use of such information.

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