How to stop the spread of infection in the workplace
According to CBI, absence and sickness in the workplace is costs UK businesses £11 billion each year. Whether it’s coronavirus or just the common cold, the spread of infection in the workplace can have a detrimental effect on employee health as well as productivity. The more employees your business has, the greater the risk of the spread of disease. There are many simple steps businesses of any size can put in place to reduce the spread of infections to protect their employees and reduce disruption from time off caused by illness.
1. Install hand sanitizer dispensers
It’s a gross fact but faecal bacteria are present on 26% of hands in the UK according to research carried out by hygiene experts from Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). This quickly spreads from hands to door handles to desks and keyboards. By installing hand santizer dispensers around the workplace you can encourage employees to stop spreading germs. This is possibly one of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of germs.
2. Antibacterial keyboards
When was the last time you cleaned your keyboard? It’s one of the biggest germ collectors in the office with more than 20,000 more germs than a toilet seat. Keyboards can be difficult to clean with lots of crevices for germs and foodstuffs to collect and fester. Replace keywords with antibacterial keyboards that can be easily wiped down, these keyboards also have trackpads instead of using a mouse so you will also reduce repetitive strain injuries as well.
3. Provide cleaning wipes
Did you know that the average desk at work has more than 400 times more germs than a toilet seat? Provide your employees with a pack of antibacterial wipes so they can keep their desks and keyboards clean from germs.
4. Check temperatures on entry
This may well be a new measure that stays in place since coronavirus. If we can detect illnesses and fevers early we can make sure that we limit the number of people that come into contact with anyone that may be infected. Non-contact thermometers are ideal for this as they can be used at a distance, give fast readings that are easy to read and they don’t spread germs.
5. Wear facemasks or visors
This may or may not be necessary for your workplace, depending on the number of employees and the possibility of the spread of diseases like coronavirus. Since the pandemic employees might prefer to wear a face mask at work for their own safety. For all-day wear we would probably recommend a face visor for those not expected to come into contact with those infected by a coronavirus, as they are more comfortable and easier to communicate with. If your workplace needs more protection, you might need an FFP3 face mask or medical-grade face mask like a Type IIR face mask. Find out more about the types of face mask and the levels of protection they provide.
6. Offer COVID testing
COVID test kits are now available so workplaces can offer testing to employees. With such an infectious disease this can identify anyone infected early on to prevent an outbreak and protect your staff. There are many types of COVID test kits available including saliva tests, antibody test kits and MRHA approved tests.
7. Educate your employees
If your employees knew some of the facts in this article they might be more inclined to take action and improve their hygiene. The healthier your employees are the higher productivity and happiness levels at work. Education of health, wellness and cleanliness can go along way so you could include this in your new starter programs or staff training.
By implementing even one of these solutions you can dramatically reduce the spread of infections at work. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, it just needs to be habitual. Creating small healthy habits can have a massive impact and benefit for all.