It is often all too easy for illnesses to spread in the workplace. We usually work in close proximity to others, and quite often we don’t take time off when we are sick – which can spread germs around the office very quickly! So what can you do to help keep your workplace a healthy environment? As well as using commercial cleaners to give your workplace a daily disinfect, there are a number of other things that can assist in preventing the spread of illnesses caused by infectious bacteria or viruses.
Spreading infection is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4
According to the Victorian Government, there are four main ways that infections can spread in the workplace – through the air, via contaminated objects or food, skin-to-skin contact, and interaction with bodily fluids.
It has been reported by the UK’s National Health Service that some bacteria and viruses can remain on hard surfaces made of wood, steel, plastic, glass or leather for days. Likewise, they can stay on personal items, clothing or hands for hours.
What you can do about it
There are a number of things you can do to help limit the spread of illnesses.
- Personal hygiene practices
Hand washing is a big part of limiting the spread of illness in the workplace. According to Hand Hygiene Australia, an effective hand washing technique takes between 40 and 60 seconds. It is important to dry hands thoroughly, preferably with a disposable paper towel, and wash them regularly – particularly before and after meal preparation. Everyone should cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze, and sick employees should stay at home to prevent spreading the illness around.
- Stop the spread in the staff room
Staff rooms or lunch areas are notorious for being the biggest bacteria breeding grounds in a workplace. Infection control methods include thoroughly washing hands before and after preparing food and drying them on a disposable paper towel. It is important not to use a tea towel, as this is simply another way bacteria can be transmitted. Employees should also ensure they use separate utensils and cutting boards for raw and cooked food.
- Commercial cleaners to the rescue
It is imperative that all workplaces employ commercial cleaning services to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses that can cause illness. An efficient commercial cleaner will know the most effective methods for sanitising indoor surfaces, including office furniture, staff rooms and bathrooms.
Maintaining a clean and healthy workplace is a lot easier with the right hygiene protocols in place, from having commercial cleaners to ensuring your staff practice basic hygiene.