Task your cleaners with killing germs
14 October 2013
We are certainly not short of research when it comes to germs in the office. We are informed enough to understand that contact points in and around the office are hot beds of infection but what are the facts exactly?
- Microbe tests have found that some keyboards have 70% more bacteria than a toilet seat
- 25% of contact buttons on water coolers represent a serious infection risk
- Office telephones can harbour up to 25,000 germs per square inch
- Cold and flu viruses have been found to survive up to 18 hours on solid surfaces
- If surfaces are not disinfected any bacteria present will increase by up to 30% a day
- The area on your desk where your hands rest could hold up to 10,000 bacteria
- Only 78% of us consistently wash our hands after using the toilet
- Only a third of office workers regularly clean and disinfect their phone, keyboard and desk
- Half of us feel guilty about phoning in sick so we regularly work in a communal environment when we are infectious
Most of us have seen these figures before, why is it then that the initial gasp of disbelief is quickly replaced by the next thing on the action list? The fact is that most of us are still too concerned with the aesthetics, if it looks clean it surely is – right?
How many of us actually translate the distaste we feel when we read these facts to action? If we are employing a cleaning company surely it follows to discuss this research with them. What measures can we agree to ensure our workers are as safe as possible?
There is no reason why you should not include disinfected cleaning of these hot spots within your agreed cleaning schedule. Daily antiseptic wiping of phones perhaps, water cooler buttons, door handles and desks. Weekly disinfection of keyboards, periodic vacuuming and shampooing of upholstery, the list goes on but all are easily integrated into a detailed cleaning plan.
There are some contractors out there who are taking it upon themselves to innovate. Approaching their clients with these facts and agreeing a cleaning schedule that will reduce risk to an acceptable level. It is not rocket science of course but contractors who are both informed and proactive are setting themselves apart from the competition. Time for a re-think perhaps?
Written by Karen James, ex sales & marketing director for Nilfisk UK and founder of Approved Cleaning Services www.approvedcleaningservices.com a lead generation platform for cleaning contractors.