Contaminated surfacesPosted on: August 1st 2017 • Posted in: PC Cleaning
Several scientific studies have shown how germ-ridden office workspaces can be. Computer keyboards alone have been found to harbour more than 200 times as many bacteria than a toilet seat.
One US study that featured in the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health in 2015 looked specifically at ‘fomites’ – objects likely to carry infection – in office environments. These included communal items such as photocopiers or conference room facilities as well as personal devices and peripherals like phones and computer mice.
The study took place in a 30,000 square foot office building with 41 individual offices and 80 active employees. One individual’s hands were ‘seeded’ with a bacteriophage that mimicked an infectious illness, and four hours later swabs were taken from colleagues’ hands and a range of fomites. It was found that half of the fomites had been contaminated, as well as the hands of a quarter of the individual’s colleagues. It was later shown that simple hygiene measures, such as using disinfectant wipes, could significantly reduce the spread and concentration of the bacteriophage.
Ditch the dirt
With the best will in the world, it will never be possible to completely eradicate the transmission of minor illnesses in the workplace. But steps can be taken to limit the spread of bacteria and viruses that cause them. Even reducing the number of sick days by a fraction could make a tangible impact on productivity and profitability. Investing in regular specialist cleaning of workstations and communal technical equipment could play a major role improving employee health and boosting business performance.