We’re not short of research when it comes to cleaning matters, particularly in the office. We know enough to understand that points of contact in and around our offices are breeding grounds for viruses and infections, but what are the facts exactly?
- Microbe tests have proven that some keyboards have a staggering 70% more bacteria than a toilet seat!
- Up to 25% of contact buttons on water coolers represent a serious cross infection risk.
- Our office telephones can contain up to 25,000 germs per square inch.
- Cold and flu viruses can survive up to 18 hours on solid surfaces, if not cleaned properly.
- Any surfaces that are not disinfected can hold bacteria which can increase by up to 30% a day.
- Any area on your desk where your hands rest could contain a whopping 10,000 bacteria.
- Nearly 25% of people fail to wash their hands after visiting the toilet.
- Two thirds of office workers never clean or disinfect their phones, keyboards or desks.
- 50% of us feel too guilty about phoning in sick, so we regularly work in a communal environment when we are infectious to our co-workers.
Some of us have seen these figures before so why is it that the initial gasp of disbelief is quickly replaced by the next item on our action list? The fact is that most of us are still duped by the aesthetics; if it looks clean then it is clean.
How many of us actually become proactive when we read facts like this? It we employ a reputable cleaning company surely the sensible thing would be to discuss this research with them and decide what measures can be put into place to ensure that workers are as safe as possible. It is each employers’ duty of care to maintain health and safety in the workplace.
There is no reason not to include the disinfectant cleaning of all hot spots in your working environment within the agreed cleaning schedule. Daily antiseptic wiping of keyboards, phones, water cooler buttons, door handles and desks. Periodic vacuuming and wet cleaning of upholstery and carpets – the list is long, but all can be integrated into a detailed cleaning plan.
There are many cleaning contractors out there who are taking it upon themselves to innovate. Approaching their clients with these facts and figures, and then agreeing a cleaning schedule that will reduce risk to an acceptable level is becoming more commonplace. And those that either source and/or supply the correct cleaning products are setting themselves apart from the competition. It’s not rocket science of course, but a business where both client and contractor are both informed and proactive makes for a healthy place of work.