Why disinfecting shoes should be on your radar
As states begin to roll-out post-COVID-19 re-opening plans in phases, business leaders face the daunting tasks of preparing the workplace for an influx of returning employees.
According to Deloitte, an estimated 2.7 billion people in the global workforce have been affected by stay-at-home measures. Clearly, the return to a “new normal” is going to be a mammoth undertaking from logistics to workplace safety.
As such, managers must integrate several new strategies to ensure every corporate facility remains sanitary.
"Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening public spaces that will require careful planning," a recent CDC reopening guide notes.
"Planning for COVID-19 may involve updating plans to address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of [COVID-19]," an OSHA guide adds.
And while most plans focus on some of the more obvious dangers – hands and face – an often-overlooked concern lies directly at our feet. Despite routine cleaning, floors can hold many viral dangers when it comes to COVID-19 transmission.
A recent study by the CDC revealed coronavirus can easily and rapidly spread on floors in contaminated areas that were tested. Swabs obtained from floors in various areas of Huoshen Hospital in Wuhan, China found rampant spread of droplets containing the virus.
More alarmingly, half of the shoes belonging to healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, areas where no patients had been present – such as the hospital pharmacy floor – recorded a 100-percent positivity result. Hospital employees were literally walking the virus from one room to the next and – more ominously – out into their homes and neighborhoods.
Solutions for disinfecting shoes such as disinfectant mats and shoe/boot wash stations can relieve the danger of COVID-19 viral transmission by foot. A 2006 study conducted at a veterinary teaching hospital noted that using disinfectant mats helped reduce bacteria transmission via footwear. In addition, a 2010 study showed the use of disinfectant mats or shoe covers lowered the number of bacteria after testing at a rodent-research facility.
New 2-Zone and 3-Zone Wet Disinfecting Delivery System
After significant research, NoTrax developed the Shoe Sanitizer System to help prevent workplace transmission of COVID-19 via shoe disinfecting and sanitation. Based on the 346 Sani-Trax and 351 Sani-Trax Plus® lines of disinfectant mats, this two- or three-zone wet disinfecting delivery system can be deployed as a stand-alone unit within a facility or paired with a hand sanitizer to help slow the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses.
Zone 1 – Cleaning and Scraping
The 3-Zone Shoe Sanitizer System applies a cleaning solution prior to stepping into the disinfecting zone. The worker removes debris from the feet via scraping, using a replaceable scraper.
Zone 2 – Disinfecting
The disinfecting zone is the main component of the Shoe Sanitizer System and is the first zone when using the 2-zone system. A beveled tray with raised walls contains a set amount of disinfectant. The worker sanitizes each foot by stepping into the tray and coating shoes with the solution. Zone 2 may vary in size depending on the need and usage.
Zone 3 – Wiping/Drying
Zone 3 absorbs the liquid off shoe bottoms, providing safe stepping onto regular flooring. When it comes to material, the zone can be permanently fixed to the delivery system, an adhesive-backed carpet textile, or even to absorbent pads.
The Shoe Sanitizer System is perfect for commercial lobby entries, elevator banks, stairwells, locker rooms, airport concourses and more.
Shoe Disinfecting Mat Solutions
Other sanitizing mat options include NoTrax’s Sani-Master. The tile system features vinyl-looped, scraping inserts filled with disinfectant solution. As people walk across the tile, the loops bend down, immersing the soles of the feet in the solution, while also scrubbing the feet. Additional tiles for drying can be added in customizable lengths. This shoe disinfecting system should be available in fall 2020.
For industrial, agricultural or biosecurity customers, NoTrax offers the 353 Sanitizing Boot Wash Station. With a height of 2.5 inches, the tray system can hold up to 2.5 quarts of disinfecting solution. The tray is chemical and temperature resistant with rigid tray edges for easy emptying. Once the shoes or boots are disinfected, they can then be easily dried by stepping on to the 048 Grip Sorb mat for a quick dry.
In the post-COVID-19 workplace, better sanitation will require social-distancing and head-to-toe disinfecting tactics. “Our current COVID-19 challenges create extraordinary barriers to business as usual,” workplace expert Dr. Tracy Brower writes in Forbes. "As a result, today’s struggles and pain are forcing new ways of thinking, better approaches and fresh perspectives on problems."
- Shoe Sanitizer System 2-ZoneClean, Disinfect & Dry in a contained wet shoe dip delivery systemStarting at: $283.00Shoe Sanitizer System 3-ZoneClean, Disinfect & Dry in a contained wet shoe dip delivery systemStarting at: $381.00