During major competitions such as the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, elite athletes train intensively to have their bodies in peak condition. The physical demand of this build-up, combined with additional stresses of a major competition, may lead to a suppressed immune system .
While conditions in London were far superior to those experienced in Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the impact of illness on an athlete’s performance, and the outcome of events, was noted a number of times. It is understandable that the highest effort should be made to protect the investment of time and money made by both athlete and their national teams in both their living spaces and competitive environments.
It is suggested that athletes are susceptible to minor infections such as respiratory illnesses. A study of the 2009 FINA World Championships (Aquatics) reports that most of the illnesses were caused by infection of the respiratory or of the gastrointestinal tract .
One of these modes of transmission is through direct contact with surfaces such as door handles, buttons in lifts or railings, in fact, all human touch points in communal areas, such as shower facilities, washrooms, vending and dining facilities. Reducing the risk of cross-infection requires using best in class hygiene methods in the cleaning of Olympic venues and accommodation sites.
In addition to hygiene, the daily maintenance of the clean aesthetic appearance at venues will be key focus of support staff. With around 17,000 people in the Olympic and Paralympic village alone, the task faced by the cleaning staff was immense.
The athletes, the public and operations staff can all benefit from any gain in cleaning efficiency in the maintenance of venues and their shared facilities.
Treatment of key surfaces with advanced natural environmentally friendly cleaning solutions can lead to major benefits for the hygiene and cleanliness of Olympic venues. In fact where traditional cleaning systems have been shown to fail ( as in a recent study by Isle of Man Hospital 2010), a non-aggressive, natural anti-microbial surface can be economically created that brings peace of mind to everyone. In addition these innovations bring environmental and cost savings benefit, aiding the games reach goals set out in the London 2012 Sustainability Plan.
We work with clients to train their staff to prepare all surfaces which would need to be cleaned initially to a very high standard. Smooth metal / glass /plastic surfaces would require secondary cleaning with industrial alcohol to remove surface bacteria. Where surfaces are degraded by wear and tear further coating may be required.
Clean air and surfaces are intrinsic to good hygiene. In cases where we need to maintain quality air standards, we simply add “plug and play” technology, as built by SomaMedical ( LEO2), removing the need to add complex installation and maintenance.
A case study of a leading insurance company, who were planning their response to the H1N1 virus outbreak, showed a large reduction in labour and use of aggressive cleaning chemicals. A pre-treatment time and motion study showed the cleaning staff were using one person for over an hour with cloths, water and window cleaner to clean the 8 doors prior to treatment. Post treatment this was reduced to approximately 20 minutes using just a damp cloth and no aggressive cleaning chemicals.
Immune function in sport and exercise. (2007) M Gleeson.
Journal of Applied Physiology, 103, 693-699.
Sports injuries and illnesses in the 2009 FINA World Championships (Aquatics) (2010) M Mountjoy et al.
British Journal of Sports Medicine, 44,522–527.