A bug for Christmas

Debbie AnstisPosted 14 December 2017 By Debbie Anstis, Health & Safety Consultant In Human Resources

Winter is upon us and we will start to see colds and flu plus other nastier bugs such as the norovirus starting to appear.

How to we help reduce these diseases and improve employee’s wellbeing?

It’s a difficult one, but did you know that 80% of infections are spread by hand contact and unfortunately, most of this cross contamination is down to very basic hygiene failures:-
    •  Failing to wash hands or not washing hands for long enough
    •  Using the phone on the toilet!!
    •  Neglecting to clean shared equipment.

All of this sounds pretty basic and something that we should do without thinking…but we don’t.

A single bacterium has the capacity to multiply into more than 8 million cells in less than 12 hours – all ready to infect your staff and give them flu for Christmas!

Simple steps to reduce the opportunities of spreading bugs during our working day.

Hand washing

Handwashing is one of the most powerful ways to stop the spread of sickness and flu bugs. With various surveys across Europe confirming that 38% of men and 60% of women do not wash their hands after going to the toilet, we could prevent the spread of disease by 50%! Think how many sickness days that equates too!!

However, hand washing should not be a quick dip under the cold tap, it needs to be of 20 to 30 seconds with soap and water to make a difference.

Using a phone when visiting the toilet

Surveys have found that almost a third of UK workers use their smart phone in the toilet. Even if they wash their hands, the chances are that they don’t sanitise their phone, meaning the device will contribute to the spread of germs. So best put these away when visiting the loo!

Shared equipment

Germs can be easily passed from one person to another which includes keyboards, mice and desks. Shared touch points such as door handles, provide the ideal environment for germs to breed. Get your cleaners to ensure they sanitise door handles and provide wipes for any equipment that’s shared.

Sharing knowledge regarding germs spreading is always the best way to prompt good hygiene – providing wipes and changing cleaning rotas also helps to stop the spread of these nasty little diseases!

To discuss this or anything else please contact Debbie Anstis on 01793 818300 or send her an email.

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