How do we make our homes and workspaces safer?
With constant reminders to wash our hands and hand sanitiser dispensers scattered around stations and shops, it is fair to say that we are more aware than ever about personal hygiene. However, germs can still be spread through surface contamination, and many of us are not washing our hands after contact with every surface. So, what exactly lurks on these touchpoints, and which of them are the biggest breeding ground for bacteria?
What are the most contaminated surfaces?
In workspace environment tests, the areas with most germs and pathogens are door handles and push plates, door entry keypads, kettle handles and switch and heating/aircon controls.
The more frequently people touch a surface the higher the risk of contamination – meaning that the surfaces you touch most often are also likely to be the most contagious.
Top 5 scoring areas in shared office spaces
- Toilet door handles
- Door entry keypads
- Internal door handles and door push plates
- Kettle handles and switches
- Heating/aircon controls
If you are working from home, the chances of surface contamination are lower but still present. If you go to a supermarket on your lunchtime, for example, you may come into contact with around 30 surfaces in that one outing*. Unsurprisingly, one of the objects contaminated with most pathogenic bacteria is a mobile phone. A typical phone user touches their phones anywhere from 2,600 to 5,400 times a day**. Computer keyboards, mouse mats, drawer handles and pens are also some of the top scoring areas that accumulate bacteria within homes, and all are items that cannot be avoided and are difficult to continually disinfect
Top 5 scoring areas on home office workstations
- Computer keyboards
- Mouse mats
- Drawer handles
- Desk phones/Mobile phones
How are we protecting ourselves?
Most businesses have now increased the levels of hygiene in the workplaces and introduced extra measures to keep workers safe. With measures ranging from social distancing, one-way exit/entry systems, perspex screens, improved ventilation and hand sanitisers, to being continually reminded to wash our hands, we are all having to adjust to the new normal.
To help us feel safer, many spaces are now regularly cleaned and disinfected. However, whilst disinfectant sprays are effective at removing germs, the moment they are dry the areas you cleaned are ready to be reinfected. After a typical office cleaning, a team of employees will enter a shared space. Most of these employees will touch the same buttons on a lift, the same door handles, and even the same coffee machine, and so the surfaces quickly become contaminated again
Effective use of disinfectant sprays must include cleaning the area every time it is exposed to or touched by a person which does not tend to happen in practice.
How do we stay safe?
While high street disinfectants can be wiped off in an instant, Liquid Guard® has staying power. It uses pioneering antimicrobial technology to form a protective barrier from just one simple application – keeping surfaces safer for a whole year. Its anti-microbial coating will permanently bond to surfaces including desks, keyboards, touchscreens, washroom surfaces, door handles and all the other top-scoring germ hotspots. One simple application will help protect customers and staff for 12 months. To find out more about how Liquid Guard® can protect your workplace, visit WORK ZONE.
Whether you are working from home, run a small business, or part of a larger organization protecting our work and home environments for our colleagues, customers, friends and family, is a priority for all of us. To keep yourself safe from viruses, listen to the government guidelines***, keep social distance and don’t forget to wash your hands!
* https://courtneymedicalgroupaz.com/2019/03/04/4902/ ** https://www.businessinsider.com/dscout-research-people-touch-cell-phones-2617-times-a-day-2016-7?r=US&IR=T#:~:text=The%20typical%20cellphone%20user%20touches,more%20than%205%2C400%20times%20daily. *** https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus?gclid=CjwKCAjwn9v7BRBqEiwAbq1Ey4WTJGQ16id7dyOS-u8zBs2hM-obkcHgwlJrXhxAtvDOQoGK4TLo0RoCbu8QAvD_BwE