Cleaning, Hygiene & Ventilation

How do I procure PPE for my School / Unit?

The Procurement Office has established a centralised contract for the purchase of PPE. The centralised contract was awarded to 11 suppliers and defined under three lots as follows:

  • Lot 1 Face Coverings - Face masks, surgical masks and face shields.
  • Lot 2 Sanitisers - Sanitiser dispensers and hand sanitisers.
  • Lot 3 Disinfectants - Disposable wipes, sprays and dilutable disinfectants. 

Full details are of the centralised contract, and which suppliers were awarded each lot, can be found on the Procurement website: See email from Ann Melia for remote access details.

It is our intention to continue to source these types of items for the short term until the Department of Education tendering exercise is complete.

University Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols

Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important aspect of reopening our campus. It is important to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting.

Cleaning removes germs and dust by using detergents or soap and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects by using chemicals, and also lowers the risk of spreading infection.

Good Personal Hygiene

Across the University, staff, students, visitors and contractors are expected to maintain responsible personal hygiene. Hands should be washed frequently, faces should be covered when sneezing or coughing, and individuals should not come to campus if they are sick. Limiting the touching of shared surfaces reduces the spread of the virus. To encourage good personal hygiene, units should post signage related to good personal hygiene. Signs encouraging good personal hygiene can be ordered via Buildings and Estates.

Toilet facilities and kitchen areas are equipped with hand soap. Hand sanitizer stations are also available in areas with heavy traffic (i.e., lobbies/atriums and at the major circulations points on each floor).

Wash your hands when entering and leaving NUI Galway campus buildings. Remember hand gels with at least 60% alcohol content are available to be used in the major circulation spaces in each building.

Washing Your Hands

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • When sneezing, sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands; if you don’t have a tissue available, sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
  • To properly wash your hands, follow these 5 steps:
    1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
    2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
    3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you need a timer, hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
    4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    5. Dry your hands using the hand dryers or air-dry them.

Sanitising Your Hands

  • Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • To properly use hand sanitizer, follow these 3 steps:
    1. Apply the sanitizer to the palm of one hand.
    2. Rub your hands together.
    3. Rub the sanitizer over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry, which should take about 20 seconds.

Using Gloves

As the COVID-19 virus cannot enter your body through your skin, gloves provide no additional protection. Additionally, gloves often create a false sense of security, people are more likely to touch contaminated surfaces while wearing them, people are less inclined to wash hands frequently while wearing gloves, and gloves must be properly removed to prevent exposure to any bacteria or viruses on the gloves.  If you choose to wear gloves please ensure that you clearly understand and follow safe glove etiquette.

Cleanliness in Teaching Venues (Theatres, Classrooms, PC Suites etc.)

Large buckets of disinfectant wipes will be provided in all teaching venues.

Each student and staff member is responsible for ensuring they clean down their own workstation/desk with the wipes provided at the start of each class.

  1. Take two wipes as you enter the teaching venue.
  2. Use first wipe to disinfect workstation/desk.
  3. Use second wipe to disinfect hands.
  4. Place wipes into the bins provided, as follows:
  • Classrooms: where the capacity is less than 25 people and there is sufficient circulation space the wipes can be placed in the bin as soon as you are finished with them.
  • Theatres: where the capacity is more than 25 people and there is not sufficient circulation space (you cannot easily walk around the teaching venue), wipes should be put in the bin as you exit the venue.

Please ensure that no personal items or items of rubbish are left behind in the teaching venues, place all rubbish into the bins provided as you exit.

The teaching venues will be serviced daily by our cleaners and wipes will be replenished. In the unlikely event that the wipes run out, please contact the Buildings & Estates helpdesk on or call 091-492134 and they will be replenished urgently.

Public areas and Circulation Spaces - Touchpoint Protocol

Touchpoints such as door handles, door push, handrails, buttons etc. are the main risk, as numerous individuals come into contact with them on a daily basis. A touchpoint protocol has been developed to reduce the spread of Covid-19 through contact with surfaces whether physical or transmitted onto the surface through the air by coughing or sneezing. A new sanitisation cleaning service has commenced to ensure all of these surfaces are cleaned at least twice per day. Cleaning chemicals with an EN14476 rating will be used on these surfaces to ensure any traces of Covid-19 are removed.

Touchpoint Examples:

  • Door Handles - Door Push / Pull - Access Control Keypads
  • Toilet Flushes and Surfaces - Sinks and Surfaces - Taps
  • Handrails and Bannisters - Light Switches - AV / AirCon Control Panels

Office Cleaning

All employees should keep a clear desk to enable thorough cleaning of work surfaces. Employees should regularly wipe down their personal work areas and frequently touched objects with sanitising wipes (i.e., workstations/desks, keyboards and telephones). If your desk is not clear, the cleaners will not attempt to clean it.

Where a case of Covid-19 is confirmed in an office, a deep clean will be required and all items on the desk will be exposed to chemicals used to clean and fumigate the office. Buildings and Estates will not take any responsibility for any damage to items as a result of people not maintaining a clear desk.

Shared Printers/ Photocopiers are a risk in an office setting, as numerous individuals come into contact with them on a daily basis. Each unit should decide the most appropriate way to reduce such risks from undertaking your own touchpoint sanitisation practices to reducing the number of staff who have contact with this type of equipment.

Deep Cleaning after suspected Case of COVID-19

Should a Staff/Student/Visitor test positive for Covid-19 Buildings and Estates will arrange the decontamination of spaces the individual occupied on campus using ionised hydrogen peroxide (iHP) and pre-qualified mobile bio-decontamination equipment which is set up on a temporary basis to undertake a high level disinfection anti-microbial gassing process. Hydrogen Peroxide (“H2O2”) 10% w/w disinfection solution is aerosolised, ionised and distributed within the room(s) to be bio-decontaminated by an ultrasonic nozzle and/or oscillating stirring fans. Following a set gas injection cycle, the H2O2 is left for a 1-hour contact time after which any residual H2O2 is removed from the room, to below the Work Exposure Limit (WEL) by purging H202 vapour from the enclosure utilising the room’s ventilation system, or by creating a natural draft.

Toilet Cleaning

Toilets are areas where people will come into close contact with others at sinks and hand driers etc. For this reason the number of people permitted to enter the toilets will vary from facility to facility depending on the size. The number of people permitted into a toilet facility will be limited to either 1 or 2 people, this number will be displayed on the door to the toilet facilities, please ensure you take note of this number before entering the toilet and exit again immediately to queue outside if the maximum number of people are already present.

Cleaning operatives will sanitise the toilets on an increased schedule. When cleaning is in progress, it MUST be understood the toilets are closed for use. Please respect this and do not enter the toilets while the cleaners are present, if people do not abide by this condition they will be reported to their local C-19 Coordinator for further action.

Kitchens / Kitchenette Cleaning

All kitchens and kitchenettes on campus are the responsibility of each Unit/department and may be used provided appropriate cleaning and disinfectant measures are put in place and monitored.

How do I keep my work and teaching spaces well ventilated?

The Buildings and Estates team have put together some guidance for campus users on how best to keep their work and teaching spaces well ventilated, depending on the type of space and size. Guidance Template for Ventilation Strategies at NUI Galway