Top 5 Winter Chemical Tips

Blog | 29 November 2015

Top Tip No. 1 (Colds and Flu)

Colds and flu are characteristic of the winter months and have clear consequences for personnel discomfort and work absenteeism.  Colds and flu can be spread by airborne viruses in coughs and sneezes but also by cross-contamination from touched surfaces.  For the decontamination of frequently touched hand contact areas (e.g. door-pads or hand rails) and larger scale decontamination of equipment and areas from viruses, oxidative disinfectants such as Sodium Hypochlorite or Peracetic Acid (Perbac OPD) are advised.  These Holchem products have been externally approved as virucidal against all viruses (BS EN 14476:2013).

Personal hygiene is important to prevent the spread of the virus within the work area, particularly handwashing.  Handwashing practices should thus be reinforced during the colder Winter months; but be conscious that frequent handwashing in cold conditions may lead to skin irritations.  Hand washing with products containing emollients is essential (all Holchem hand hygiene products contain emollients) but it may be wise to stock up on a supply of hand lotions that can be applied to hands after leaving the working environment such as M9 Hand Care

More information on hand care can be found in our Expertise section 

Top Tip No. 2 (Winter Vomiting Sickness)

The winter months are also the classic time of the year for Norovirus infections, the so called ‘winter vomiting’ virus which is the most common stomach bug in the UK.  Again, personal hygiene and handwashing are key to preventing the spread of this virus to work colleagues or potentially contaminating foodstuffs.  One of the more undesirable effects of Norovirus is uncontrolled vomiting, which may occur in the food processing environment. 

Holchem have developed a ‘Spill Kit’ to rapidly deal with vomit or other bodily fluids in the workplace. Read More

Top Tip No. 3 (Low Temperature Chemical Performance)

If chemicals are stored outside they can be affected by cold weather such that they become more viscous or may even freeze; for example some caustic detergents may freeze at + 12°C.  Some long cling foams may be damaged if they freeze and ideally such chemicals should be stored above +5°C.  If chemicals are stored outside in heated vessels/bulk tanks etc., please ensure that these lagged, heating and pumping systems are inspected/serviced prior to potential cold weather.  Please also ensure that chemicals are brought into the factory and acclimatised to factory temperature before use to ensure accurate dosing and dilution.  It may also be necessary to change to alternative caustic products during the winter months.  If you are unsure of a chemicals performance at low temperatures, please contact your Local Sales Consultant

Top Tip No. 4 (Slips and Trips)

Snow and ice may cause slip and trip conditions on the paths and roadways leading to factory entrances.  Being proactive in avoiding the formation of ice by predicting adverse conditions and applying products that prevent ice formation - minimises risk and potential injuries to staff.  In the event of heavy snowfall or icy conditions, have snow clearance, slip warning signs/cones and de-icing products readily to hand.  Further information on de-icing products can be found by clicking here.

Top Tip No. 5 (Product Stock)
And finally, please maintain chemical and product stocks to ensure factory and equipment hygiene, particularly if adverse weather conditions are forecast which might affect driving and delivery times.