There’s a lot of worry at the minute about Swine Flu and the risk of passing germs from one person to another. So, without living like a hermit, what can you do to lower the risk of passing on, or catching, something at work?
Well, the first thing is that you need to learn a little bit about how viruses like to exist!
They cannot reproduce from nothing, and most only have a 72 hour lifespan, so like us all, they are keen to find a way of reproducing. The kind of environments that they like are around us all the time. They like: Fat and Oil, Warmth, Food, Moisture. Sounds like most offices, and many houses!
So, the practical steps you can take;
In the Office
Do not eat near your desk. The desk is usually a prime place for bacteria to live, as they get oils from your skin, warmth from computer equipment. When you eat at your desk, you are also giving them a platform to exist on. To prove this, turn over your keyboard, and give it two or three taps. See what drops out!
Do not put food in your office bins. Eat in a separate area, and use the bin in the canteen / kitchen
Wash bins regularly, or ask your contract cleaners to include this in their daily routine. This has a major effect in reducing the risk of spreading germs.
BANISH SOAP - Think about it. Fat, moisture, nooks and crannies - all the most important things if you are a flu virus! Ditch the bars of soap, and invest in wall mounted, dosed dispensers. We can provide these for about a tenner - they aren’t expensive.
Use paper towels and/or hand dryers. The debate about this one rages on, but the most important thing is not to have a communal tea towel to dry hands on. Again, moisture and fat are a germ’s friend.
Make use of antibacterial hand gels. We can supply these, but to be honest you can nip down to your local high street chemist or supermarket and pick them up cheap.
“Encourage” staff to wash their hands. A few strategically placed signs can aid immensely, especially in the washrooms. Did you know that 6 million Brits do not wash their hands after going to the toilet? Oh, and it’s not all Men by the way - just Google it!
Importantly, you should ensure that your surfaces and equipment are kept clean and tidy. Remove as much dust as you can, and keep a good eye on your cleaning company. They should be taking extra measures to stem the rate or cross-contamination.
Mostly, it’s common sense. I’m sure there’s no need to make huge changes, but it may be time to put into practice some of the things we should be doing anyway!
This post was kindly submitted by Richard & Megan from Dolly Char domestic cleaning Wakefield