Helping your organisation the winter sickness sea

Jamie Woodhall, UK Technical & Innovation Manager, Initial Washroom Hygiene Paul Casson, Technical Field Manager, Rentokil Specialist Hygiene

Winters in the UK appear to be becoming colder. Last year the UK experienced a spell of severe winter weather with extreme low temperatures and significant snow falls from late February to early March 2018. The same, if not worse, is predicted to happen in 2019. While snowy weekends are fun, cold

weather can be a drain on businesses, providing the ideal conditions for illnesses like flu and Norovirus to thrive. And, with employers losing an average of £570 per employee last year due to sick days, it’s crucial that facilities managers consider their role in reducing the spread of harmful bacteria to minimise their impact. Here are our top tips to help your organisation prepare for the winter sickness season.

1. Encourage good hand hygiene

Nearly 80% of infections are spread by hand. Hands are a natural breeding ground for germs and one of the principle carriers of harmful pathogens. Regular handwashing plays a vital role in reducing the transfer of pathogens and harmful bacteria throughout the office. It’s imperative employees wash their hands after using the washroom, but

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Jamie Woodhall

also regularly throughout the day, to prevent the transfer of pathogens across the office. Think about how many hands come

into contact with shared touch points in communal areas such as the office kitchen. Research from Initial Washroom Hygiene has found that something as simple as making a colleague a cup of tea can become a potential contamination issue. For example, we conducted a swabbing experiment looking at various touchpoints in the office kitchen and found that the level

Paul Casson

of microbial activity on the tins where office tea bags were kept was on average 17 times higher than a toilet seat. This may not be all that surprising when just a third of office workers say they wash mugs and even less wash their hands before making someone else’s tea. Of course, regular and vigilant cleaning

of shared kitchen facilities in office environments will go a long way to helping reduce bacterial and viral contamination; but encouraging more hygienic employee

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