November 12, 2013 12:09 am
In addition to getting a flu vaccine, it is important to keep work environments clean. Reception desks, counters, door handles, telephones and computer keyboards are some of the most common surfaces that are touched hundreds of times throughout the day. Germs quickly spread from surfaces to the immune system, making it important to clean areas with EPA-registered disinfectants frequently.
Here are some strategies to remain flu-free this season:
-Know the germ "hot spots" in the office. For example, the average phone has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. Flu viruses can live on surfaces up to four days. It's important to properly disinfect your work area frequently.
-Eating at your desk? Your work surface is a "bacteria cafeteria" according to Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona.
-Know the grimiest things you touch at the office on daily basis: kitchen sink and faucet handles; microwave and fridge door handles; vending machine, elevator and ATM buttons; drinking fountains; keyboards and touchscreens.
The most common way the flu spreads is by hand-to-face transmission. The average person touches their face 18.5 times and 30 objects within an hour. Washing hands frequently with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds helps stop the transmission of germs.
"For years, professionals in the commercial cleaning industry relied on their senses to determine whether something was clean or dirty," said Sean Kajcienski, chief sales officer at Coverall. "The old way of cleaning with string mops, upright vacuums and cotton rags doesn't work. In fact, those old techniques can actually make the problem worse by spreading germs throughout your facility."
Kajcienski advises workers be aware of harmful germs lurking in unexpected areas and traveling throughout the office. Last flu season began in November and was the worst since 2009. December, January and February log the most flu cases, so the time to "step up" your germ-killing cleaning program is now.
Advanced technology, such as the ATP meter, is often used in restaurants, schools and hospitals to accurately verify germ reduction after cleaning.
Germs can best be killed and removed from surfaces using:
-Hospital-grade disinfectants (proven to kill germs)
-Color-Coded microfiber towels (towel used on toilet not used in kitchen)
-Flat mops with self-dispensing buckets (never uses dirty water)
-HEPA Backpack Vacuums (removes 99.97 percent of particles)
Published with permission from RISMedia.