Health risks in the workplace may not be as dramatic as those in factories and warehouses, but they cost companies as well. Colds and flu are prevalent among in certain seasons, and the virus of these ailments spread from person to person.
People transmit germs in the office in several ways, from using shared coffee cups to shaking unwashed hands. These germs spread quickly from one person to the next, causing people to get sick. As a result, people become less productive and have to take a day or more off work to recover. Other employees insist on working even when they’re sick, which, in turn, causes more germs to spread in the office.
Your workplace environment needs to be hygienic for employees and visitors, even if your business doesn’t involve health or food production. Tackling the problem straight away ensures that your workers are healthy and productive.
Putting Hygiene Policies in Place
Many organisations in towns like Maidstone hire commercial office cleaning services to perform frequent deep cleans. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone in the company shouldn’t do their part in maintaining cleanliness in the area.
It’s your role as a leader in the organisation to keep the work environment safe and healthy based on industry policies. In the United Kingdom, hygiene regulations are monitored by the HSE. Make sure to read up on the regulations related to your industry and know who’s responsible for applying them to your organisation.
Your people also contribute to keeping the office clean. Meet with them and create a routine, such as cleaning desks before timing out or clearing the fridge every Friday. Include these policies in the employee manual so that everyone is on the same page.
Also, be firm on employees insisting on working even when they’re sick. Have them go home when they have colds or the flu. Create remote working procedures so that they can work from home if they have a minor but infectious ailment.
Office Hotspots for Germs and Bacteria
Several areas of the workplace contain more bacteria than others. When you’re doing your regular cleaning, concentrate your efforts in these important areas:
Desks are a favourite area for germs, because they are nourished by the bits of food that we drop. In fact, the average office desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. Equipment on desks – such as pens and stationery – are also more likely to be more infected when shared with other people.
Encourage your employees to eat away from their desks. If people eat at their desks, make it a policy that they clean up properly after they’ve finished.
People could pick up bacteria and viruses by touching fridges, but there’s also the danger of keeping food past its use-by date. Inspect your fridge at the end of the day and check if ready-to-eat food is still good for storage. Throw away those that are past the expiration date, whether or not they were used.
Door handles are a frequent carrier of viruses because they are one of the most touched spots in the office. Remind your employees to wash their hands after using the toilet to minimise the germs on the door handles. Have anti-bacterial gel by the door so that people can rid bacteria from their hands before opening or closing the door.
Bacteria and viruses are not huge hazards in the office, but they cost an organisation when they’re transferred from one person to another. Implementing a workplace hygiene policy ensures that employees are healthy and productive.