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Clean Living at Work

The workplace has it's share of germs! A 2002 study conducted by University of Arizona researchers found that the workplace does indeed host its share of germs: phones have up to 25,127 germs per square inch, keyboards 3,295 per square inch and computer mice 1,676 per square inch. Mindful of this fact, the American Cleaning Institute offers employers and employees several tips to help keep healthy at the workplace.

Hands-On Tips for Employees:

  • Routinely wash your hands with soap as soon as you arrive at the office and several times throughout the day, including before and after lunch, after using the restroom, and in between meetings. Wash your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  • Because germs can be transmitted from virtually anything you come in contact with, keep a surface cleaner or disinfecting spray or wipes handy for daily wipe-down of the two most common items you touch each day, your desktop and telephone. Some products are designed to kill the germs that lead to cold and flu suffering — read the product label to be sure.
  • Clean your office and restroom doorknobs regularly. Wipes are great for this task.
  • Use a disinfectant spray in your office garbage can. Has it ever been disinfected?
  • Subway, bus or train commuters should carry (and use) a hand sanitizer or antibacterial hand wipes following their commutes. This can prevent germ transmission when you stop to get your morning coffee or breakfast.
  • If you’re sick, stay home!

Hands-On Tips for Employers:

  • Consider providing each of your employees (or each floor or section) with personal cleaning supplies such as wipes, sprays and disinfectants to keep their personal environments clean and healthy.
  • Post signs encouraging frequent hand washing. A 2001 survey found nearly three-quarters of offices and customer service facilities do not post signs reminding their employees to wash their hands.
  • Send an office-wide e-mail encouraging hygienic activities at work and at home, to help prevent sickness for themselves and others.
  • Always ensure restrooms and kitchen areas are supplied with enough and proper cleaning products for hands and surfaces, including disinfectants and multi-surface cleaners.

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