Make sure Norovirus doesn’t bug your business this winter

Posted on: November 15th 2018    •    Posted in: PC Cleaning

Nobody wants to be ill and possibly the winter virus we all dread catching more than any other is Norovirus, AKA the Winter Vomiting Virus.

First up, let’s get one thing clear though. It might be widely known as the ‘Winter Vomiting Virus’ but don’t think you won’t catch it at others time of the year. You might!

Why is it called the Winter Vomiting Virus?

Whilst strains of Norovirus can be picked up all year round, it tends to become particularly prevalent in winter because people spend more time together indoors and therefore, the virus has its pick of potential hosts.

The virus is also thought to survive longer outside of the body during winter months making it more likely to be passed from one person to another via door handles, toilet flushes, lift buttons, stair hand rails and so on.

What exactly IS Norovirus?

It’s nickname as the Winter Vomiting Virus kind of answers this question. But if you’re suffering from a tummy upset and wonder if it might be Norovirus or Winter vomiting Virus, here’s what NHS Direct has to say about it.

The main symptoms are:

  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • A high temperature of 38C or above
  • Headache
  • Aching arms and legs.

The symptoms start suddenly within 1 or 2 days of being infected.

The good news is that, for most of the population, whilst it’s really unpleasant, there are no long lasting side effects and it will usually only last a day or two.

How can you prevent Norovirus?

The single biggest thing everyone can do to help reduce the spread of this virus is good handwashing. It’s really important to understand, and remember, that alcohol hand gels DO NOT kill the virus!

Within the workplace, make sure that every handwashing facility is well stocked with soap and consider putting up signs to remind people to wash their hands regularly. And at this point I’m not just talking about after they visit the toilet. In a work environment encourage people to wash their hands before handling food, making their lunch and even before making the team its morning cuppa.

You should also ensure that a robust cleaning regime is in place throughout the workplace. The virus can lurk for quite a long time. Make sure your staff are mindful of others in communal areas by cleaning up after themselves – for example, in shared kitchen spaces. Have plenty of easy to use surface cleaners available (obviously ensuring the requisite COSHH data sheets are available) and make sure your people are reminded how and when to use them appropriately.

On this point, don’t let H&S myths put you off encouraging your staff to clean up after themselves. There is lots of good, no nonsense advice about what people can and can’t use in the workplace on the HSE we4sbite. In general though, if the products available are suitable for domestic use, there shouldn’t be a serious risk to your staff using them with sensible training and precautions being taken.

Beyond what your staff can do on a day-to-day basis, you would also be wise to give some serious thought to the wider cleaning arrangements you have in place.

Contract cleaners will probably use more specialist cleaning products on a routine basis but even then, there will be things within the business you don’t want them cleaning…. For example, the IT equipment.

Is the IT equipment really a risk?

I’m afraid the simple answer is, absolutely!

Whether you’re answering someone else’s phone, using a mouse to point something out to a colleague or are a fully hotdesking operation, workstations and the equipment on it is rife with bacteria just waiting for its’ next victim.

Your office cleaners will have been trained to simple dust technology to avoid damage from cleaning sprays. However, that just has the effect of moving the bugs around a bit more as the dust settles elsewhere or the same cloth is used resulting in cross-contamination.

To effectively tackle Norovirus and its counterparts, you need to ensure that periodic, specialist deep cleans are carried out by trained staff using products developed for use on delicate technology – phones, laptops, mobiles, computers and all associated peripherals.

Techclean clients have the benefit of using specialist trained technicians, backed by over 30 years’ operational experience, to keep their IT clean, their staff healthy and their workplace productive.

To find out how techclean can help you with your routine and periodic IT cleaning without blowing your budget, contact Techclean

Written by Peter Hann – Director at Techclean Wessex

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