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Workplace acquired infection often goes undetected
Infection prevention, disinfection and decontamination specialist Sanondaf, is warning businesses that workplace acquired infection is the silent threat which could be having a detrimental effect on your workforce, and your bottom line.
Over the last few months many organisations will have experienced an increase in absence levels as the traditional Winter bugs spread like wildfire across workplaces.
Many businesses promote healthy eating and lifestyle initiatives in an effort to keep their staff fit and bug-free. However, with an average office keyboard harbouring up to 20 million germs, are they quite literally missing what's at the end of their fingertips?
This was the reason French Duncan, a Scottish accountancy firm, decided to look at additional ways to help protect its workforce against nasty bugs over the Winter months.
Louise McCosh, head of human resources at French Duncan explains: "Through the Lanarkshire Business Excellence Awards 2015, we heard about Sanondaf who were awarded Best New Business of the Year.
"Sanondaf is a specialist in advanced infection prevention & control, and we decided to explore this further. A Sanondaf technician came on site to explain more about the product and process.
"In short, the product claims to return the treated area to being 99.99% germ free using a fogging and electrostatic spraying process which is 100% safe for humans and electronic equipment. Almost complete eradication of office germs is rather a bold claim to make, and we did have some concerns that the product may leave furniture and equipment damp. We therefore agreed to trial the process in a few selected areas.
"The Sanondaf team started with bacterial swab sampling, including chairs and tables in the meeting room, microwave and vending machine buttons in the kitchen, and keyboards and phones on the desks. Thereafter, the team used their Sanonchem solution with fogging and spraying machines.
"The product did not leave any residue - all equipment and furniture was dry and able to be used a few hours later. Following the treatment, further bacterial swab samples were taken to provide a before and after picture. We received a report a few days later with the results. We were genuinely surprised to find that all of the pre-treatment samples showed moderate to high levels of bacterial growth.
"The results were concerning, but the Sanondaf team reassured that such results are normal in office environments, in fact a recent report by consumer magazine Which? highlighted computer keyboards can harbour more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat, and coined the risk to users becoming ill as 'QWERTY tummy', (named after the first six letters on a keyboard).
"Thankfully, the post treatment results showed a much more positive story with all swabs taken being clear of any evidence of pathogens.
"As a result, French Duncan decided to arrange for the process to be completed in all five of our offices on at least a quarterly basis. French Duncan is the first accountancy firm in the UK to take the proactive step to protect their staff and clients from the risk of cross contamination and infection using the Sanondaf process. The welfare of staff and clients is at the forefront of the French Duncan ethos, and we consider this to be the future of infection prevention and control in modern workplaces."
Stuart White, Director at Sanondaf, adds: "This is a subject many people prefer not to think about. For progressive companies, like French Duncan, who value their staff, clients and visitors, a cost effective regular treatment of the office and workplace environment will positively contribute to staff welfare, client satisfaction and hopefully, bottom line profitability.
"Organisations in every sector are required to be increasingly vigilant against the threat of infection in the workplace. In these litigious times, people are now more inclined to consider legal action if they feel a company has been negligent in this area. This has been highlighted by recent court proceedings instigated following Norovirus outbreaks which adversely affected many of the staff and customers in the facility."
T: 01236 702028
18th February 2016