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Reduce the Risk of Illness…..With Education!

We all know that washing our hands keeps us from getting sick. I’m not here to present a lecture on hand-washing, rather, note that communication between cleaner and occupants is vital to keeping your work space a germ-free environment. A clear and distinct plan for cleaning is, of course, paramount to completing an effective clean. But before that can even happen, the business owner or manager must understand that the cleaning company will do their part in providing a sanitized bathroom, kitchen, and any other community areas. Yet it is also in part the occupant’s responsibility to take care of their personal health and hygiene to prevent the spread of illness.

According to an article in Contracting Profits magazine, “Studies have shown that most people don’t correctly wash their hands, and that – moreso than inadequate cleaning – is responsible for spreading bacteria and infections in school, offices and any building that is accessible to the general public.”

This is why education is so important when it comes to personal health. Cleaning companies like ours should communicate clearly to management of the property the right products and messages will help resolve ineffective hand-washing techniques and other hygienic issues. Products include “antibacterial soaps, which come in a variety of dispensation options, including foam and liquid, as well as touch-free dispensers. By cutting down or eliminating restroom touch points, the risk of contracting and spreading illness is greatly reduced.”

“Travis Ryan, general manager of Enviro-Tech Building Services in St. Cloud, Minn., has seen many clients making the transition to touch-free fixtures. ‘It just makes sense from a health, environmental, and economic standpoint,’ he says.”

If you’re a business owner and you are considering replacing soap dispensers with touch-free dispensers in the work place, think about the amount of sick days that will diminish by providing these illness-prevention tools. A cleaner facility means healthier employees, which leads to lesser sick days and of course, higher productivity. As Ryan mentioned, it makes sense economically for this reason.

Here are a few tips to keeping your work space a germ-free zone:

  • Post reminders to wash hands in the bathrooms (on stall doors, by the mirrors, on the exit door)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists good points to post anywhere in the office
  • Provide antibacterial dispensers in each work space – 1 per desk and possibly a few more in common areas.
  • Consider purchasing phone wipes. Telephones have over 50 times more germs than restroom surfaces.
  • Replace manual paper towel and soap dispensers with automatic ones. Since these technologies provide a pre-measured amount of product, it’s actually a money-saver!
  • Simply remind employees to sneeze or cough in a tissue or into their arm. And wash their hands after each use of a tissue. Your employees will appreciate that you are looking out for them and taking the time to make sure they are practicing healthy habits.

Lastly, remember to communicate with your cleaning service. “A business relationship that fosters clear communication and a willingness by both parties to effectively fight infection is very important. This includes creating infection control programs to fit the needs of individual customers, buildings and occupants.” (CP, Sept. 2010)