Germs at the Work Place
A typical office worker’s hands come in contact with 10 million germs a day. Here are some of the most common locations you’ll find germs at work and what you can do to get rid of them:
- Telephones. Office telephones can hold more than 25,000 germs per square inch. Wipe off handsets and keypads with sanitizing wipes after using them.
- Elevator buttons. Hundreds of people use the elevators of office buildings every day. Use your elbow or knuckle instead of fingertips to push the buttons if you can. Or get a little exercise – take the stairs.
- Water coolers. Nearly one-third of all water cooler buttons are considered a serious risk for transmitting germs. Instead of going thirsty, bring bottled water from home. You should also be concerned about the handles on the refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot at work.
- Computer keyboards. Shared computers are particularly Use disinfecting wipes to remove dirt, dust, dander and germs from your keyboard and mouse.
- Bathrooms. E. coli and fecal toxins are often found on nearly every surface in the bathroom, including doors and faucet handles. Use paper towels to turn faucets on and off and to open the door before exiting.
Stop Germs from Spreading
- Get a flu shot. Workplace environments can be a breeding ground for the flu, spreading the virus through close contact and shared workspaces. Encourage your co-workers to get the flu vaccine, too.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
- Wash your hands often. Wash your hands for 15 to 20 seconds using soap and warm water. When soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers. Avoid unnecessary handshakes.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when you touch something that is contaminated with germs and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick. Get plenty of rest and see your doctor as needed.