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'Tis the season for sharing...germs.
Common sense and observation tell us that schools and offices – any place where people gather – tend to help spread colds, flus, and other common illnesses among the population. The University of Arizona did a study that tracked exactly how the germs spread.
Researchers introduced several artificial viruses to a workplace, and found that it took only four hours for the viruses to be spread to more than 50% of surfaces…and study participants…in the office environment.
What does that mean for workplace cleaning? Pay extra attention to cleaning commonly touched surfaces in the office, including:
- High-touch breakroom items like coffee pot handles, faucets, and vending machine buttons
- Meeting room surfaces including phone buttons, equipment controls, and tabletops
- Traditional germ hot-spots like door handles and push-plates
What else can be done to protect a workplace? The Arizona study was repeated with a “Healthy Workplace Intervention” in place that included encouraging employees to wash their hands more frequently, and providing simple items like tissues and hand sanitizer.
The result? The spread of infection dropped to below 10%.
The outcome of the study reinforces what common sense tells us – cleaning high-touch surfaces and other interventions slows the spread of germs in the workplace. The dramatic difference just emphasizes the difference good cleaning can make. Wishing everyone health this cold & flu season!