During flu season, the workplace is the easy place to catch germs — one sick staff member can spread the misery throughout the office, according to an article on the KGUN9 website.
With multiple people handling common items every day, germs can spread quickly, so cleaners should pay special attention to phone headsets, copy machine buttons, microwave handles, refrigerator handles, conference room tables and light switch plates. Many of these items may not cleaned regularly, which makes it easy for bacteria and viruses to spread.
The flu virus can stay on a surface from 24 to 48 hours, so the cleaning method has to be strong enough to kill the flu virus.
It’s important to educate workers on the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing. Consider providing a short training session on microbiology basics. Additional best practices during flu season include:
• Protecting workers with the proper equipment to prevent them from coming into direct contact with airborne viruses or the bacteria on the surfaces being cleaned.
• Make sure one of the first things custodians should do when they arrive at work is wash their hands to remove any dirt or bacteria they may have carried in with them.
• Use standardized cleaning processes to reduce cross-contamination. Many cleaning programs lack standardization and leave the door open to issues like cross-contamination and missed surfaces.