Though a mild flu season has been a byproduct of Chicago's El Niño winter, it still won't be over for several more weeks no matter what the groundhog saw.
OSHA Flu Prevention Best Practices
With presenteeism still ever-present in American business culture (the act of attending work while sick), showing up at the office may be one of the most significant risk factors for getting the flu. OSHA's best practices for preventing flu include:
- Handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds using an alcohol-based cleanser if soap is unavailable
- Completely washing and drying hands after coughing, sneezing, etc.
- Avoid shaking hands with ill colleagues
- Cleaning co-worker's equipment with disinfectant if you must work in someone else's space
Staging Soaps & Cleaning Supplies
Employees are agreeable to the concept of handwashing, but it can fall by the wayside unless the soap is convenient. On hectic days, a sign reminding employees to wash their hands can be easily ignored if the dispenser is empty. A key complement of Roscoe's service is providing hand soaps, sanitizers, lotions and dispensers in high-traffic locations such as the front entrance, kitchen and lunch room/break area.
Disinfect Colleagues' Cubicles
The vast majority of U.S. workplaces are highly vigilant about cleaning the toilet seats and bathrooms are often the healthiest place in the office atmosphere.
By contrast, a study presented by Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona-Tucson found that commonly touched surfaces such as computers, keyboards, phones and desktops were heavily contaminated with bacteria. Common areas—coffee pots, microwave buttons and fridge door handles—were tainted with microbes as well.
Luckily, there are some low-tech ways to prevent the sneezes from starting. In his book, The Germ Freak's Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu, Gerba advises wiping down office equipment with disinfectant wipes (read: not reusable sponges and rags) about three times daily in communal areas and once daily in the desktop area. A drop of sanitizer on the phone receiver or desk surface might help employees save PDO time for the beach instead of the bed.
Hand Soaps, Sanitizers & Restroom Supplies
In addition to being a leading source for work uniforms and custom mats, our facility services include replenishing hand soaps, sanitizers and restroom supplies on a weekly or bi-weekly basis – and we throw in the dispensers at no charge to get started.