Good hand hygiene is extremely important in the workplace. Once you’ve found out where bacteria can be hiding you’ll see how washing your hands remains the best defence against bacteria and infections.
You’re probably aware of the germs and bacteria that lie in wait in the office washroom but did you know seemingly innocent and clean places in your workplace can have more bacteria on it than your toilet seat?
Your desk is one of the main places bacteria like to lurk and in particular, on your computer keyboard. Your desk has 21,000 germs per square inch compared to just 49 germs per square inch on your toilet.
People spend all day at their desk so things like your keyboard and mouse are key germ transfer points, especially if you have a cold or flu – which can leave behind lots of viruses for up to three days.
Areas, like your keyboard, are not regularly cleaned due to risk of causing damage, so bacteria harbours there.
A typical worker can touch up to thirty objects in a minute and also touch their faces at least eighteen times a day so without realising, you could be aiding any germ’s journey into your body.
Yes, your trusty mobile phone is dirtier than your toilet seat with 25,000 germs per square inch!
With the touch screen feature, you are constantly touching the screen then answering a call, ultimately pressing the bacteria against your face, which allows any germs to get into your body.
People very rarely clean or disinfect their phones or wash their hands after using it, so the bacteria love it – especially if you use it often as they like the warm screen.
3.Fridge and microwave handles
These are the dirtiest places in your communal kitchen due to so many hands touching it; after handling food, sneezing and coughing or even after the toilet (and remember 1 in 10 people do not wash their hands).
In a survey of around 5000 different workplaces researchers found that 48% of microwave door handles had an ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) count of over 300 – which shows that the surface is flourishing with bacteria and at a high risk of spreading illness. Similarly, 26% of refrigerator door handles had an ATP count of over 300.
Of course, not all bacteria is harmful but these areas in your workplace show how germs get around with your hands alone – in fact, hands are responsible for 80% of common infectious diseases.
To beat germs and sickness in the workplace we recommend promoting good hand hygiene with facilities readily available in the washroom and kitchen and also having educational posters at hand washing stations.
Always make sure you wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, touching and eating food – and especially after using the toilet!