NORTHBROOK, Ill.—May 18, 2020—In this edition of Straight Talk with Jeff Cross, Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, discusses the new GBAC STAR accreditation. The GBAC STAR facility accreditation is a global program that establishes requirements to assist facilities with work practices, protocols, procedures, and systems to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. The program focuses on evidence-based training and methodologies for facility staff, as well as developing certified emergency response teams that can be deployed when the level of risk is especially high.
Dr. Macgregor-Skinner explains that we have the cleaning tools needed to fight infection, but the challenge for facilities is how to take the products and best practices to scale and train building staff to implement them at the level needed to systematically clean and sanitize environments in the era of COVID-19. “It’s about developing a culture of safety for those frontline house cleaning staff and frontline restoration workers,” said Macgregor-Skinner.
Dr. Macgregor-Skinner notes that many facilities put together an infection control team that doesn’t include the housecleaning staff. “They are your frontline soldiers in killing this virus,” Dr. Macgregor-Skinner asserts. GBAC STAR helps facilities to see gaps like this in their infection control plans and address them. “Our focus in GBAC STAR is to ensure that we focus on that team approach and we focus on those frontline workers.”
Another aspect of GBAC STAR is teaching cleaning staff how to perform risk assessments and then take the proper precautions and use the proper cleaning tools and procedures. For facilities completing the program, the GBAC STAR seal will signal to the public that a facility has met GBAC’s rigorous requirements for maintaining a clean environment and mitigating biological risks.
Accreditation criteria and facility applications are now available on the GBAC website.
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