Keeping your business premises clean has been a problem for a long time for those responsible for commercial property.
Commercial spaces need to be clean on every level possible. For one thing, your business is not likely to do well if your clients feel as though your building, or the people in it, are unhygienic. But it’s not just that. You have to be so overly cautious regarding health and safety and cleaning is a major factor in that. Slippery floors and trip hazards are just a couple of examples of how improper cleaning in a business environment can lead to big problems.
As managers, we have a duty of care to the people we employ. This means we must ensure that they work in a hygienic and safe environment. Risks need to be properly assessed in accordance with the health and safety guidelines. We need to have method statements in place that documents procedures and systems used to minimise any risks.
Studies have shown that there are much higher levels of staff sickness within companies where the hygiene of the work environment is not satisfactory. Germs thrive in dirty places, which leads to the spread of infection and illness.
The Hygiene Council in the UK have found that in general the hygiene of commercial office kitchens is lacking. Swabs taken from office kitchen sinks have revealed that we take much less care in this area than we do in our own homes. Bacteria love wet and warm areas like sinks, so germs multiply much faster in these places. As an estimate, it’s thought that bacteria levels double in number every fifteen minutes! Sponges and dish cloths are hot beds for contamination and typically office staff will quickly wash out their cup, but will pay little attention to thoroughly washing the dishcloth or kitchen surface.
It’s incredible to believe, but kitchen sinks and surfaces were found to have more bacteria in microbe tests than the flush handle on the office toilet! More than 50% of taps had extremely high levels of bacteria on them compared to only 15% of flush handles in public toilets! That’s something that doesn’t bear thinking about the next time you visit the office kitchen or toilet!
The best way to defend yourself against these vastly multiplying bacteria is to practice regular and thorough hand washing. It’s recommended to use antiseptic wipes on any area that is frequently touched by many people, such as keyboards, light switches, phones and door handles.
More and more, businesses are looking to employ a reputable cleaning company to take care of all their cleaning needs. By doing this they can hope to ensure that bacteria are kept at bay and they’re not going to find themselves with a law suit on their hands! My office cleaning in Cambridge costs me £12 an hour. I have somebody come for 2 hours weekly and it’s just so worth it for the peace of mind of knowing that it’s had a thorough de-germing once a week! Of course, it’s worth educating ourselves and our staff about how we need to change our habits, as it’s recommended that bacteria hotspots are disinfected after each and every use and there’s few of us that can afford a daily professional cleaner! But still I find in general it’s best for us to concentrate on what we’re good at and leave the cleaning to the experts! I’m not prepared to take risks with the health and safety of my workers.