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How to Provide Environmental Safety on Public Transport

This article is part of a series that details how to maintain optimal environmental hygiene in the face of COVID-19. Look out for dedicated articles on the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sectors. 


As Covid-19 spread across the globe, the public transport industry and its staff jumped into the front line along with the NHS and first responders.

Radical changes to standard cleaning practices were needed to protect employees and the essential workers travelling to their jobs. Operators, while running their services, are still working through revamping these procedures to meet the challenge that the virus poses to environmental safety.

Leaders of airlines, bus companies and transit operators have been scrambling to find the right hygiene tools to step up cleaning efforts and reduce the spread of the virus. While operators are going beyond the government and public health guidelines, there’s confusion across sectors over best practice.

Let’s investigate how you can establish first-class procedures that ensure and reassure drivers, passengers and cleaners that you are providing the safest possible environment. 


Encourage Passengers to Practise Good Hygiene

Operators can take every precaution, but passengers must shoulder some of the burdens. People jump on and off public transport, touching poles, doors and seats, and drivers and cleaners can’t run around disinfecting these surfaces on a continuous basis.

Visual communication like signage placed strategically at stops and around the vehicle can encourage the public to use good hygiene practices like washing and sanitising hands. Some countries, like China, are even broadcasting public education reminders to inform passengers of their responsibilities. This tool could help to ensure that UK passengers are aware of changes to public health advice and government guidelines. 


You Risk Cross-Contamination without Approved Cleaning Materials 

Ensuring cleaners are equipped with approved materials is essential to avoiding the pitfalls of cross-contamination. One study by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that over two-thirds of soap buckets and 93% of sampled cleaning towels in US hospitals harboured bacteria.

While public transport carries people who are hopefully in better health than sick people in hospitals, this statistic shows the uphill battle the industry must fight to keep passengers and employees safe.


Cleaners Deserve the Safest Working Environments you can Provide

Hong Kong has deployed self-driving disinfectant robots to clean public areas, but the UK public transport industry doesn’t share this luxury. Our cleaners strap on PPE, arm themselves with cleaning materials and head straight into the danger zone. 

Transport operators and cleaning companies owe their cleaners the duty of care enjoyed by most workers, despite being thrust into the frontline alongside first responders and the NHS. The simplest, most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve this is through disinfectant fogging and deep steam vapour cleaning.  


Choose the Right Technology for the Job

Disinfectant fogging and dry steam vapour cleaning deliver the most efficient, safe and comprehensive deep clean for public transport. Some organisations like Delta, the third biggest airline in North America, have started to rely on fogging and dry steam vapour (DSV) to deep clean aircraft to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

Scientific studies, focusing on the efficacy and removal of all microbiological decontamination, demonstrated that DSV performed equal to or better than disinfection practices. When you add the success of eradicating bacteria and viruses from areas cleaners might miss or not reach, along with the speed of completion, you have the most effective and time-efficient method on the market.         

How Disinfectant Fogging Works

Let’s use a bus that’s just pulled into the depot, ready for a deep clean, as an example.

Before cleaners enter the bus, they can attach a fogging applicator to the DSV machine that sprays a dry steam mist made up of water and a non-toxic disinfectant. The water acts as a carrier for the disinfectant during the fogging process. Super-heated steam eradicates 99.99% of known bacteria and viruses, leaving surfaces decontaminated, safe, and touch dry within 10 minutes. 

It provides environmental safety for cleaners to enter while destroying dangerous organisms hiding in out of reach places. Also, while cleaning staff should wear full PPE, an asymptomatic employee may infect an area as they work. Fogging the vehicle once more when the deep clean is completed leaves the bus free from infection and removes any risk. 


How Dry Steam Vapour Cleaning Works

Dry steam vapour cleaning tackles bacteria and viruses on three fronts with thermal and chemical disinfection and decontamination by the mechanical action of surface penetration and extraction to eliminate contaminants. 

The SARS CoV-2 virus is blanketed by a fatty outer layer that seeps into common porous materials that have non-smooth, textured or rough surfaces. Manual disinfection struggles to remove buried dangerous organisms, however, a mix of super-heated dry steam and disinfectant can penetrate these surfaces to extract and destroy bacteria and viruses.  

Once cleaners complete the fogging of the vehicle, they detach the fogging applicator to then concentrate the dry-steam vapour onto common touch-points like chairs, rails and doors. Super-heated steam eradicates residue called biofilm, which is commonly known as dirt, grime, dust and similar organisms that harbour potentially lethal bacteria and viruses. 

You get the added benefit of combining staged manual cleaning, that depends on employees to deliver comprehensive results, into one efficient and effective activity.


Our Technology will Deliver the Gold Standard of Environmental Safety

OspreyDeepclean is a market-leading expert and we’re dedicated to providing technology that delivers the Gold Standard of environmental technology.

Our contribution and innovations to healthcare environmental safety have earned recognition by the Department of Health and NHS Supply Chain. We have engineered our products to handle the rigours of public transport cleaning and we want to help you tackle the spread of COVID-19. 


We’re dedicated to helping public transport operators deliver the safest environments for employees and passengers. Our SteamForce range offers you powerful tools to combat infectious organisms.

To learn more, contact us now to speak with our experts.

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