Office cleaning can prevent spread of germs

February 1st, 2013 Category: Office Cleaning

A firm focus on office cleaning could help to curb the spread of infections in a workplace.

According to research by the University of Arizona, germs carried by just one sick worker can easily spread across the premises.

Bugs were said to be particularly likely to collect on desktops and on telephones, as well as door knobs, buttons on machines such as photocopiers and the office refrigerator.

As a result, businesses might find it a good idea to bring in contract cleaning specialists so they can ensure their premises stay germ-free from day to day.

Kelly Reynolds, associate professor of public health at the University of Arizona, said the discovery that germs travel so quickly in offices is quite notable, since office workers tend to be fairly isolated from other people.

"There weren't a lot of people roaming around," she observed.

"They basically go in their offices, sit in their chairs and are on their computers."

Ms Reynolds said the research team was "quite surprised" to learn "how effectively everything spread".

"I didn't expect to find it as much as I did," she said.

While employers can actively try to make sure an office space is kept clean, members of staff too can play a part in curbing the spread of infection.

For instance, Ms Reynolds pointed out a person who is coughing and sneezing could use hand sanitiser, or at least have some available in case it is needed.

In addition, people who are sick were encouraged to wash their hands before eating and use tissues to wipe their face.

"The take-home message here is that very simple interventions that we all kind of know about have great efficacy," Ms Reynolds added.

By actively aiming to limit the spread of harmful bugs, employers can hopefully see a drop in staff absenteeism figures.

This can in turn help a company boost its bottom line, as worker sickness can end up costing it money, as well as prove highly disruptive.