Microbiological levels in the workplace

Whilst your business may be distinctly outside of the healthcare realm, and as far as possible from the catering industry, the Microbiological levels found within your premises should still serve as a concern. Bacteria within businesses up and down the country are busy dragging down the health of the workers within them, all without company owners realising just how stringent a cleaning routine is needed if they’re to overcome productivity levels and employee sick day rates that are anything but good for business.

The bacterial landscape of the average workplace kitchen

The following statistics, taken from a recent study and reported upon within the Daily Mail, demonstrate just how serious bacteria control, or lack thereof, within the workplace is:

  • Half of kitchen worktops are contaminated with levels of coliforms that are threatening to our health; perhaps more shockingly these forms of bacteria are present in faeces – suggesting that it is likely poor hand-washing routines that lead to these levels of coliforms. When ingested they can lead to gastrointestinal diseases that range from the bout of diarrhoea right through to more serious conditions that can lead to hospitalisation.
  • More than one quarter of kitchen draining boards have been found to hold four times the level of coliforms deemed safe;
  • Where there is a shared fridge one in three have been found to have handles with high levels of coliforms, with 30% of communal microwaves home to this level of bacteria upon their controls;
  • Finally, the average kitchen work surface has been found to host more bacteria than the average feminine sanitary bin.

The staggering stats behind staff flu days

Contracting the flu, as between 5-10% of us do each year, and other bugs, through work is notoriously commonplace, yet what is less well-known is the fact that up to 80% of such infections are spread via the environment through hand contact on contaminated surfaces, as well as human to human contact (OHS Online 2010).

The scourge of the average desk space

Whilst you may think of the toilet or, now enlightened by the statistics above, the kitchen, as the source for the most bacteria within the workplace, you may need to think again. As studies consistently find the average desk’s keyboard to harbour in excess of 10 million differing diseases (Daily Mail 2014).

Tips for a healthy workplace

Promote frequent hand washing

Research has found that we touch our faces, on average, 18.5 times each hour (OHS Online 2010); with this figure, it’s quite clear how viruses can spread so quickly and easily when workforces are even slightly remiss with hand washing after eating and taking a toilet break. To overcome this there is the idea of alcohol rub placements within eating and preparatory areas, as well as signs placed within rest rooms reminding staff of just some of those shocking statistics.

Provide cleaning products for frequent wipe downs in key areas

Regularly sanitising kitchen and desk worktops with anti-bacterial spray, as well as weekly clean downs of items upon desks, is a simple way of overcoming cross contamination issues. However regularly is the operative word here, as research has found that just a single sick person can infect half of an office’s communal surfaces by lunch-time (The University of Arizona 2013).

At Ductbusters our Ductwork cleaning services traverses industries and business types; from factories to offices and onto public buildings. Throughout each business, ventilation plays a pivotal role in promoting clean air and good employee health through environments that hold the right temperature all year through. Yet for ventilation systems that are poorly-maintained and even less frequently cleaned there lies a world of bacterium that can be found within, and sped around day after day. Our cleaning services overcome just such a situation – contact us today to arrange a ventilation condition check and risk assessment, or book in for your Ductwork maintenance service or clean.


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