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News roundup: The impact of cleaning on health and hygiene

Posted on: Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Education

It is possible for schools to cut their cleaning budgets and still safeguard the health and well-being of the pupils that attend that organisation.

A blog by Denis Rawlins Ltd said that many budget-conscious school and college managers are able to cut their cleaning budgets and still save money.

The problem is however that they rely upon outdated cleaning equipment that does not do the cleaning more effectively.

In an article published on Cleaning Hub, James White, managing director of Denis Rawlins Ltd, said: "The main culprit is mopping. Even microfibre mops spread contamination rather than removing it. This is a hazard in any building, but in a school or university where large numbers of young people are gathered the risks are high."

He said that while failure to clean a school properly can result in infections and create problems for those that use the building, managers need to ensure that it is done as effectively as possible.

Mr White cited a US study which found that a microfibre mop only removed around half the bacteria from a germ-infested floor.

It can also re-infect areas that were previously cleaned. However, industrial cleaning machines were far more effective at doing the job, he claimed, adding: "There is a far more efficient, hygienic and cost-effective way to clean that will benefit our schools and students."

Office cleaning

Female office workers are more concerned about office hygiene than other workers, new research has revealed.

A study published by Initial Washroom Hygiene found that exactly half of UK women (50 per cent) believe that their male colleagues never wash their hands in the office.

Conversely, 96 per cent of men believed their female colleagues washed their hands. The research also suggested that none of these beliefs were correct.

In fact, the data revealed that just 38 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women wash their hands after going to the toilet. 

Additionally, the study showed that one in four office workers admit they don't wash their hands after using the washroom. 

Speaking about the findings, Dr Peter Barratt, Initial Washroom Hygiene, said: "What these findings particularly highlight is that we all need to be more responsible when it comes to hand hygiene. Washing your hands thoroughly for 20-30 seconds remains the simplest and most effective way to reduce the spread of infection, and employers need to take the lead to ensure all their employees wash their hands thoroughly after every washroom visit, whether they are male or female. 

"Employers should also encourage their workers to take time to fully recover from an illness as this will help stop its transmission within the office."
The report also revealed that the vast majority (80 per cent) of diseases are transmissible through touch, and 60 per cent of employee illness is believed to be contracted from dirty office equipment.

This means that in order to reduce the risk of infection or sickness, it is essential for workers to wash their hand.

It is also important that office equipment is cleaned on a regular basis in order to further cut down the risk of illness.

Mr Barratt added: "By providing the best facilities available, such as good quality soap from dispensers, sanitising gels and hand drying equipment, and encouraging good and consistent hand washing behaviour it shouldn’t be necessary to change the way co-workers greet each other, and employers can ensure that their staff retain full confidence in each other’s hygiene, whilst reducing the risk of transmitting infections."