Dirty Little Secrets Hiding in Public Spaces
Monday, July 14, 2014
Where do germs lurk in public places? Most people assume that the least sanitary place in any building is the bathroom, and while it’s important to keep bathrooms clean and disinfected, it’s typically one of the cleaner places in a community building.
According to a study by Kimberly-Clark Professional, as reported in Time Magazine in 2012, the six dirtiest spots in an office are:
• Break room sink faucet handles
• Microwave door handles
• Refrigerator door handles
• Water fountain buttons
• Vending machine buttons
Other studies have shown that dirt and germs also populate flooring, telephones, desks, door handles, and photocopiers in high numbers.
Illnesses and sick days cost US businesses an estimated $153 billion every year. Keeping workplaces clean and workers healthy is big business. Beyond instructing your janitorial staff to regularly disinfect office hot spots, you can also encourage employees to be vigilant about protecting their health.
Use some of these simple ideas for a quick reduction of sick days in your office building:
• Stock break rooms and communal kitchens with disinfecting wipes and encourage employees to use them freely. Microwave and refrigerator door handles, sinks and faucet handles, table and counter surfaces are all places that would benefit from being disinfected regularly throughout the day.
• Stock shared kitchens with disposables (link: http://mailender.aiserver.us/page.aspx?ID=1051) or replace the kitchen sponges daily since they are the perfect environment for harboring bacteria.
• Request that the janitorial staff disinfect vending machines and water fountains more than once a day to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses.
• Supply disinfecting wipes for sanitizing the hotbeds of infectious microbes that employees come in contact with all day long: desks, computer keyboards and phones. Encourage employees to disinfect their personal spaces at least every few days.
• Elementary schools and preschools have a particular challenge in preventing the spread of germs simply because the nature of how children experience their environment and how they socialize. But you can still cut down on absenteeism by students and teachers by encouraging staff and teachers to disinfect common areas and items that are touched by many small hands every day. Keep cafeterias clean and make sure staff are following basic hygiene rules. Sanitize and disinfect all door handles daily and keep classrooms well stocked with facial tissue.
• Make sure your custodial staff knows the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Cleaning removes dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
At Mailender, we offer a wide variety of cleaning products designed to keep your facility clean, sanitized and disinfected. Contact us to discuss which products will keep your employees healthy all year long.
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