It’s that time of the year again when temperatures begin to drop, leaves change colours and….. cold and flu viruses reappear in the workplace! There are several steps that you can take to reduce the spread of germs in your facility. Every time an employee is absent due to illness, it is an expensive disruption to the business. The average annual cost of unscheduled absences is estimated between $800 and $1320 per employee. Approximately one third of unscheduled absences are due to illness. Here are some easy steps to follow to stay healthy while you are at work:
- Use a hand sanitizer before entering and upon leaving a building. Using a hand sanitizer in the workplace can reduce absenteeism by 20%.
- As you enter your workspace, wipe and disinfect your frequently touched contact points. This includes your computer mouse, your keyboard, your desk your telephone. Desks typically have 400 times more germs toilet seats.
- Wash your hand frequently during the day. Hands must be washed after using the washroom, before and after eating or drinking, after attending a meeting, after coughing or blowing your nose, after handling money and after shaking hands. If you do not have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer. Proper hand washing is the best way to reduce the spread of germs.
- Follow proper coughing etiquette – cough in a tissue or in the fold of your elbow not in your hands! A virus on a person’s hands can be transferred to 6 different people.
- If you use a common kitchen or kitchenette area, make sure you wipe clean the fridge and microwave door handles, the kitchen taps and all other frequently touched surfaces. Never use a sponge to clean your cup, dishes, sink or counter.
- If you experience many flu symptoms, stay home and seek medical care.
Tips to promoting good hand hygiene in the workplace
Promoting frequent hand washing is a key element to reducing workplace illness. Here are a few tips to ensure good hand hygiene compliance in your workplace:
- Have a hand soap that people enjoy using and that prevents skin irritation
- Wet your hands before applying soap. This will make it easier to rinse away soap and dirt and help prevent skin irritation.
- Dry your hands completely with a paper towel. Drying your hands with a towel after washing can reduce germs by 77%.
- Place hand sanitizer dispensers in high traffic areas of your building. This can encourage good hand hygiene practices.
Some additional interesting facts
- Colds and flu are transmitted when a person’s hands touches their face
- An adult brings his fingers to his face 18.5 times per hour
- Every 60 seconds a working adult in an office touches as many as 30 objects
- Colds and flu can survive 48 to 72 hours on surfaces
- 20% of objects handled by a person with a cold will have the virus on them
- A virus on a person’s hands can be transferred to 6 different people
Prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses in your workplace. Keep it Safe and Sanitized!
To find out more about the products and systems that can keep your facility healthy, contact your local Account Manager.