Germ Spread and How to Avoid It
There was always the risk of catching or spreading a cold or flu in the workplace. But now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become aware as a community that regular measures just don’t cut it anymore.
We need to be more vigilant, more careful and far more responsible in minimizing pathogen spread. According to Health Canada, the flu and other diseases can be prevented from spreading by observing fairly simple rules and habits.
Below is a brief guide composed by ServiceMaster Clean experts.
By following it on a daily basis, you will be able to keep yourself safe at home, in public and in the workplace.
Frequent Hand Washing
Our hands are one of the most common ways pathogens enter our body. By touching a contaminated surface, we take the first step to introducing it to our mouth or our eyes. Even by touching your face, you are already putting the microbes too close to where they will find a way in.
Frequent hand washing prevents this from happening. Make sure to take no less than 20 seconds to wash your hands, scrubbing every area including under fingernails and between fingers.
Ideally, you should wash your hands before and after food prep, meals, touching someone who may be sick, using washrooms or touching commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, microwave buttons, fridge handles or handrails. This list is far from exhaustive but should give enough of an idea of what areas in your facility may transmit germs.
Keep Common Areas Clean and Disinfected
Disinfecting is critically important in workplaces, and especially for those who have patrons. Cash register lines, supermarket shelves, service counters and other similar places need to be cleaned and sanitized regularly. This is true in the best of days and doubly so during pandemic threats such as COVID-19.
Avoid Touching Your Face
This one is not also as easy to follow as it may sound, but it is very important. As we already mentioned, your hands are the stepping stones the pathogen can use to jump to your eyes, nose and mouth where you are vulnerable to it entering your body. When at work or outside, people resort to alcohol sanitizing to compensate for hand washing. While better than nothing, it is still not sufficient to fully protect you from germs. Try to minimize contact with your face, unless you can wash your hands first.
Avoid Contact With Individuals who Are Sick
If possible, avoid spending time in close contact with sick individuals. If you are the one feeling sick, keep your distance from others to help prevent them from becoming ill. Stay home from work and other commitments until you are healthy. Remember, you are not just protecting yourself, but also others from you – in case you happen to have a cold, flu or coronavirus but are asymptomatic.
This rule in the workplace where multiple people can’t avoid each other entirely, keeping distance is even more important as it takes only one infected person to make everyone sick. And of course after work, it’s best to stay indoors than engage in any risky group gatherings.
The good news is that dangers can be avoided by keeping to these simple rules and hygiene habits.
For years, ServiceMaster Clean have been the experts in creating clean, safe and healthy workplace environments. Our experience and training in healthcare spaces afford us the ability to promote safe practices for infection prevention within all businesses. We are fully equipped to provide you with the preventative and specialty cleaning services you need or to provide you with advice for keeping your workplace healthy.