It’s flu season! That means it’s prime time for being especially vulnerable to germs in the workplace—an environment that puts us in close physical proximity with other people, many of whom may be carrying cold and flu germs. We’re touching common surfaces, like the coffee pot, the copier, door and drawer handles, telephones, stair railings, and possibly shaking hands—spreading germs as we go.
But, if you think nothing can be done to stop germs in their tracks, think again.
As a leader in janitorial and industrial supplies, Strauss Paper Company in Port Chester makes it a priority to stay on top of the latest information and products to keep its clients and their workplaces clean and as free from germs as possible. According to Strauss, even though germs are prevalent in the workplace, you can play an active role in protecting yourself and reducing your chances of spending time with a cold or flu.
Each individual can make a difference in helping reduce the exposure to germs. Strauss recommends following these five fail-free steps.
Step 1: Be germ conscious
Raising awareness about how germs are easily spread in the workplace is an important first step. After all, effective action can only be taken if you’re aware of the problem.
Step 2: Make it personal
If you personally commit to maintaining a healthy workplace, you’re much more likely to take health in your workplace seriously and make it a high priority.
Step 3: Focus on hot spots
The most commonly touched surfaces with the highest potential for spreading germs are considered hot spots. Researchers have identified the top workplace hot spots as: stair railing, elevator buttons, conference tables, lobby areas, reception areas, lobby ATMs, water coolers, kitchen spaces, copy stations, and doors.
In fact, a Kimberly-Clark Professional study concluded that the following surfaces have the highest levels of contamination:
• Break-room sink faucet handles (75%)
• Microwave door handles (48%)
• Keyboards (27%)
• Refrigerator door handles (26%)
• Water fountain buttons (23%)
• Vending machine buttons (21%)
Step 4: Take action: wash wipe, and sanitize
Both employees and employers play important roles in their shared goal of creating a healthy workplace.
Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes should be kept available and easily accessible in high traffic areas. And, everyone in the workplace should:
• Regularly clean and disinfect personal and commonly used surfaces with disinfectant wipes
• Wash hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water
• Sneeze and cough into your elbow or a tissue
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Get a flu vaccine
• Stay home when sick
Step 5: Know the impact of your actions
Being aware of the effect of your actions (no matter how small they seem) can be an encouraging motivator. For example, a controlled study by Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, found that The Healthy Workplace Project* wash, wipe, sanitize protocol developed by Kimberly-Clarke Professional achieved significant measureable results, including:
• Reduced the probability of infection from the cold and flu by roughly 80%
• Decreased the number of people who could become infected with the flu from 40% to 8%
• Reduced the number of surfaces contaminated with viruses by 62%
It may not be possible to have a completely germ-free environment, but empowered with knowledge and tools, you can help say goodbye to a host of germs for good!
Strauss Paper Company is a leading wholesale distributor of janitorial supplies, janitorial equipment, washroom supplies, and sustainable green products. We also provide state-of-the-art training and equipment repairs. Located in Westchester County, we have been proudly making our customers shine—and stay healthy—in the tri-state area for over 70 years.
Strauss Paper Company
10 Slater St