To help slow the spread of illnesses around the office, it’s helpful to know the most touched areas in the workplace so they get regular attention from the cleaning crew. According to Total Jobs, the top germ hot spots are:
• Desks. Studies have shown that some typical desk items could be seven-times more contaminated than traditional “germy” surfaces such as toilet seats.
• Fridge. Not only is the refrigerator a frequently touched item, which makes it a hot spot, but contents left inside the fridge can spread germs and bacteria. There are proven dangers in keeping food past its use-by date.
• Keyboard and mouse. One study found more than 3,000 micro-organisms per square inch on keyboards and over 1,600 bacteria per square inch on a computer mouse. If you’re sharing a computer, clean the desk using an anti-microbial wipe and ask for appropriate cleaners that can be used on electronics. Even those using their own technology should clean them frequently.
• Mugs. Just rinsing may not remove the previous user’s germs. And the outside surface of the mug could become contaminated by their hands.
• Door handles. Door handles are one of the most touched spots in the office and a major contributor to the spread of viruses like the norovirus. Airborne particles from sneezing can travel as far as 10 feet to the front and 7 feet to the side, and they can contaminate hands that are easily transferred to handles.
• Photocopier. Everyone uses the buttons of the photocopier, so it’s easy to pick up whatever germs are on their hands. Keeping hand sanitizer near the copier and educating staff to keep their hands clean will help curb the spread of germs.