The swabbing procedure can be applied across a variety of workplace environments, including offices, factories, communal/public areas and public transportation. Surfaces that can be tested include door/grab handles, light switches, table/desk tops, office equipment, control panels, seat backs, sinks and toilet cubicles amongst others.
To carry out the test, sterile swabs are gently rubbed and rolled over a set area of the surface to be sampled, according to SOCOTEC. This process is repeated using fresh swabs for all other areas and locations that require sampling. Analysis is then carried out by a specialist partner laboratory. Results will be reported in a comprehensive format comprising observations, salient points and recommendations for improvement. Photographic evidence will also be compiled to indicate precisely where samples were taken.
Norman Sleeth, managing director for Environment & Safety at SOCOTEC UK, says: “As certain government restrictions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic begin to ease, many organisations are now facing the overwhelming task of returning their buildings to full occupancy. SOCOTEC is committed to guiding and supporting its clients as they prepare to resume business operations, ensuring that they remain safe and compliant while doing so.
“Our new environmental swabbing method forms just one of SOCOTEC’s wide range of testing, inspection and compliance services that aims to get buildings ‘business ready’, instilling employers with confidence and reassurance regarding occupational health, safety and hygiene as they continue to operate through these uncertain times.”