Sodexo employees wearing coveralls

How we will forge a clean new world

headshot of Ria Smith
About the author : Ria Smith

HSE Director, Sodexo Australia

Published on : 6/8/20
  • Spare a thought for the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 crisis, the rarely acknowledged frontline cleaners across the world who have been in the thick of it, supporting our brave medical professionals as they tend to the ill and ward off further transmission of the virus.

    The Sodexo team had early exposure to the impact of COVID-19 in Wuhan, where the virus first broke out, and responded quickly to implement COVID-19 safe systems, serving our clients in what would have been a highly confronting situation.

    The early witness to just how serious the situation was, paved the way to ensure we could instil preventive measures here in Australia to stop any spread of the virus across our sites. This involved creating an even more safe place for our clients’ employees and ours to work, with the incentive to do our part to halt transmission in the community and help ensure the impact to Australia was minimal. 

    One thing we have seen across the business landscape is a distrust in the workspace and public facilities which were so commonly used pre-pandemic. The road back to a sense of normalcy will be challenging and irregular and, for some time, I expect to see a heightened expectation and responsibility placed on cleaning teams around the world to ensure people feel safe across the places they work, the facilities they use and the food they eat. 

    As we, alongside many, place safety at the forefront of our operations to protect employees, consumers and the public as well as rebuild trust within the community, a priority will be ensuring the most sanitary and effective use of assets and buildings. Creating awareness around safe spaces is equally important, ensuring that our and our clients’ employees feel confident they are safe to return to their working environment.  

    Sodexo has leveraged the latest research and expertise from infection control and healthcare subject matter experts in our global Sodexo network to develop world class infection control and COVID-19 disinfection cleaning protocols that are designed to deactivate the virus and prevent further transmission from contaminated surfaces. 

    One of the most important COVID-19 prevention measures that we worked with our clients to achieve during this time was instilling disinfection protocols. We designed and delivered specialised COVID-19 disinfection training programs ensuring highly competent cleaning staff, and deployed COVID-19 response kits including Australian approved hospital grade disinfectants, equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 

    Sodexo employees taking training on donning coveralls We’re supporting our clients to be ready for the ‘new normal’ through a phased approach of remobilisation, applying service adaptations and enhancements as necessary. Two key elements of this approach include reactive disinfection cleaning, supporting companies who have experienced a confirmed case of COVID-19 on site during their remobilisation, and preventive disinfection cleaning, a solution for all companies to support frequent proactive disinfection of high touch areas. Both these solutions are designed to respond to disinfection requirements to prevent further transmission to others.

    What Sodexo has put in place in Australia helps build our confidence that we will get to the other side of this crisis. It’s important to remember that prevention of the virus starts with each of us individually. Among other practices, we can all help stop the spread by cleaning and sanitising our own regularly used and touched surfaces. In doing so, we help protect the health of everyone going back to work.

    Our teams will, as always, be on the frontline, consistently going the extra mile and acting responsibly to improve the quality of life of our clients and consumers within a safe environment.

    Take a look at our “Preparing for our New Normal” solutions to find out more about how Sodexo can support your company during its remobilisation.