To celebrate Halloween, we have collated our scariest and most shocking workplace hygiene facts for your enjoyment (or horror).
We suggest you don’t read this over your lunch break…
1/ A survey by office supplies company Viking, found the bacteria Staphylococcus on 60% of desks it checked. With up to 10 million bacteria thought to be living on your unclean desk you might be safer working from the toilet.
2/ Hate being ill? 80% of common infections, colds etc. are passed on by touch alone. Viruses left on surfaces by unclean hands before you could infect you up to 24 hours later so there’s just no excuse for not properly washing hands at work. The average person touches their face sixteen times per hour, yet their hands also come in contact with around 10 million bacteria per day. It’s no wonder we see infections spread so fast at work.
3/ The average surface like a photocopier may be touched more than 300 times per day. Surfaces like these and door handles are some of the most touched spots in the office posing the biggest threat to health.
4/ Even kitchen taps, despite being in an area dedicated to cleaning and fresh water, have up to 1,331 germs per square inch. Is nowhere safe?
5/ The average keyboard has on average 7,500 bacteria living on it (or up to 3,000 micro-organisms per square inch). It’s no surprise given at least one in ten employees never cleans their equipment. Time to rethink hotdesking perhaps?
6/ Sneezing is never a good sign and if you wish your sick colleagues would just go home – there’s a lot of evidence to say you are probably right to think that. Did you know germs and other particles ejected by sneezing travel at speeds of up to 130km per hour? Sneezing, like vomiting can spread germs up to 10 feet from the point of origin.
7/ Flushing toilets also spreads germs further than you might think – 6 feet in fact around the toilet and stay airborne for up to 2 hours. Maybe it’s time to encourage people to put the seat down after use? Air dryers only exacerbate the issue by moving air around and increasing risks of inhalation or spread.
8/ The air quality in a closed space can be up to 500% worse than outdoors. Think about how air quality or pollution might be affected by dust, allergens and other odours.
9/ To ensure your cleaning with antibacterial cleaner is actually effective – it has to be left to rest on surfaces for 30 to 60 seconds before being wiped away. How often do you see that happen in your workplace?
10/ Certain resistant microbes can survive ridiculously long time in unclean premises. For example, Norovirus can last 350 hours on surfaces happily, but the worst concern is E coli (found mainly in kitchen areas), which lasts up to 500 days on surfaces, posing a very significant threat to your employees’ health.
11/ Your beloved office mug might in fact be the least pleasant thing on your desk… according to studies in the University of Arizona – about 90% of office cups harbour germs and bacteria that could make us ill. Worse still – up to 20% of the mugs tested also had traces of faecal matter! Using those shared kitchen brushes, cloths and sponges just is not doing the job. If anything, they are likely to be adding to the problem.
12/ It would take one person with a virus just four hours to contaminate 50% all the equipment and employees in their direct vicinity. Now that’s scary.
13/ 57% of co-workers judge their colleagues based on the cleanliness and tidiness of their desk. If you don’t judge other people’s desks, maybe it’s your desk everyone else is talking about! 🙂
If that’s isn’t enough to motivate you to get anti-bac the wipes out we don’t know what is. Keep clean this Halloween.