Use of bleach based products during deep clean of premises – Norovirus outbreak

As you will know, some schools across the County have been affected by an outbreak of Norovirus (or similar) and information on how to manage this has already been issued by Public Health England (PHE) via a previous edition of the e-courier. Where it has been recommended that schools undertake a deep clean of the premises, the advice from PHE is to use a bleach based product, this being the most effective method of killing the virus.  

Normally, schools are discouraged from using bleach based products due to the risk of an adverse reaction with other cleaning chemicals which can produce toxic gases/vapour (chlorine gas). However, it’s use during a deep clean, in the circumstances described above, is permissible as long as stringent control measures are put in place to ensure it isn’t used in conjunction with other cleaning products. Headteachers should ensure that a safety data sheet and COSHH risk assessment are completed in relation to the product to be used and shared with all staff involved in the deep clean, prior to work commencing. 

To assist with this, the Corporate Health and Safety Team have produced a COSHH risk assessment (which includes a link to the relevant safety data sheet) for a typical lower risk bleach spray product. This type of product should be used rather than neat bleach.

Any queries can be directed to the Corporate Health and Safety Team on 01670 623854.

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