Germicidal UV (GUV) lights inactivate bacteria and viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Used in hospitals, offices, schools and healthcare facilities, it is the quickest and safest way to disinfect.
But, is it right for you?
While it is completely safe to be in the room while an upper-air GUV system is running, occupants should never be in the room while a direct-view UV-C fixture is in operation.
A direct flash of UV-C light won’t do permanent damage, but prolonged exposure may cause temporary erythema or photokeratitis.
To keep occupants out of harm's way, UV-C pushcarts should only be operated safely by trained staff, and hard-wired systems should be automated so that the disinfection cycle doesn’t start until the room is confirmed to be unoccupied.
Advanced, automated disinfection systems have been present in the healthcare market long before COVID-19 to combat Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs).
To put it simply, HAIs are a big deal. Pathogens like MRSA, Norovirus, and C. diff can live on surfaces anywhere from a few days, to a few years in some cases. Manual cleaning methods are proven to not be effective enough on their own, due to a variety of factors including quick room turnover, lack of staff training and human error.
There are an estimated 720,000 HAIs each year, causing patients to spend more time in the hospital for an illness they didn’t initially have, and they potentially open the doors to legal liability.
To combat HAIs, healthcare facilities are adding GUV systems to their line of defense. A study by the Duke University School of Medicine and the UNC School of Medicine researched the effectiveness of adding GUV to traditional cleaners, like bleach and Quat.
By adding UV, the researchers found a significant reduction in pathogens. With the combination of Quat and UV, there was a 94% reduction in pathogens, which led to a 35% reduction in infection rate.
It’s no wonder why many hospitals have invested in GUV pushcarts, hard installed GUV systems, or near-UV 405 nm solutions to decrease their costs and prevent further disease.
Cost savings aren't limited to healthcare facilities, take the corporate office for example.
The CDC estimates that illness costs employers $1,685 per employee, per year, every year, and this number is based on absenteeism alone. Before the current pandemic, many employers considered that an unfortunate cost of doing business, life happens!
However, what if that costly number could be curbed, even during a pandemic?
Since we saw a 60% reduction in the infection rate in the Germantown Friends School between non-immune students while utilizing a GUV disinfection system, let’s assume that number is correct.
Reducing sickness by just 60% could result in yearly financial savings of over $1,000 per employee.
Of course, the value is exponentially higher during a pandemic.
Application: Manufacturing Facility
A Texas-based manufacturer with 300 employees came back to work after the 45-day shelter in place order. Rather than coming back in phases, enforcing mask usage, or practicing social distancing at the workplace, the company instead opted to employ UV-C technology to mitigate health risks.
They put UV-C systems in the HVAC, UV-C fans throughout the space, and they used GUV pushcarts for additional disinfecting in high traffic areas.
As Texas became a national hotspot for COVID-19, five employees eventually contracted the disease. Unfortunately, those five employees did come to the office and spent at least an hour in the facility sick.
Once they tested positive for COVID-19, management disinfected the high traffic areas and the employee desks with GUV pushcarts.
Thankfully, no additional outbreak at the workplace has occurred, thanks in large part to the GUV disinfection strategy they used in their space.
Is it right for you?
While we don't suggest using a GUV system as your only line of defense, this strategy coupled with social distancing procedures and masks can greatly reduce the likelihood of infection.
GUV systems are proven to get people back to work faster. While other companies are treading water, balancing workloads with family and home-related demands, GUV creates a safe environment and gives employees peace of mind. Teams are ready for collaboration, and your business is set up for growth.
Ready to price out a system for your space? Contact us today to design the system that's going to get you back to work, without breaking the bank.