Cold and Flu Season
With the large number of people getting the cold and flu recently we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to take the proper precautions to keep you and your fellow co-workers illness free.
Have you touched your computer keyboard today? Turned a door handle? Used the lunch room microwave?
If you’ve done any of the above, you’ve come into contact with at least twice as many germs as are found on the average toilet seat.
A study done by personal health products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark (K-C) found that some of the most germ-ridden places in an office are the ones you may not expect.
Cleaning frequently touched surfaces is one way to cut down on the number of cold and flu germs that are passed from one co-worker to another, but the flu can be a tough virus to avoid even when a person knows where germs may be hiding. Not only can viruses lurk on surfaces touched by an infected person, they also can hover in the air. Tiny droplets are created when a person talks, coughs, or sneezes, an infected person can spread the flu to others up to about 6 feet away. A person needn’t be experiencing symptoms to be infectious; the virus can be passed on a day before symptoms develop and up to a week after a person becomes sick
- Wash up. Hands should be washed often and scrubbed with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Keep sanitizer handy. Hand sanitizer won’t clean hands that have dirt on them, but an alcohol-based rub can be an option if your hands aren’t visibly dirty and soap and water aren’t available.
- Keep hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth brings germs into the body.
- Clean up. Frequently touched common surfaces, such as computer equipment and telephones, should be kept clean. If you need to use a co-worker’s equipment, consider cleaning it first with a disinfectant. Information about an office’s most offensive germ hotspots can be found through
- Avoid close contact with ill people. Avoid shaking hands or coming in close contact with co-workers and others who may have a cold or the flu.
- Take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, and eat nutritious food to be ready to fight infection if a virus invades your body.
- Cover your cough. If you find yourself coming down with something, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to help keep germs from spreading to those around you. Used tissues should go in the wastebasket.
- If you’re sick, stay home. Staying home will help keep others in your office healthy. CDC recommends that workers stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have respiratory symptoms and a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, or signs of a fever including chills, a flushed appearance, and sweating. Other indications that a person has the flu can include body aches, a runny nose, a headache, diarrhea, or vomiting.
Be a SAFETY Leader!