Preventing Influenza (Flu) Outbreak In The Workplace

The Influenza virus is responsible for a substantial amount of sick time and lost productivity for businesses of every industry every year. Although there is no way to guarantee your facility is completely free of the virus, there are some things that can be done to minimize its impact on your workforce and overall productivity.

How long does influenza virus remain active on objects and common surfaces?

Influenza virus is capable of surviving on most common surfaces and everyday objects for anywhere from 2 to 8 hours. If someone infected with the flu has been in contact with any surface in the workplace, the virus can easily spread to others throughout the work day, long after they have gone.

Which areas or surfaces are most commonly affected?

There are several surfaces which will have a very high concentration of bacteria and viruses, influenza being no exception. Among these, the most notable are doorknobs and handles, desk surfaces, clothing, kitchens and break rooms, any public dispensing devices, vending machines and others. When a person carrying influenza coughs or sneezes, the virus is carried in tiny droplets, some almost microscopic. These droplets are deposited on any nearby surfaces or objects, and when another person touches these surfaces or objects they will likely become infected as well, especially if they touch their nose, mouth, or eyes before washing their hands after coming in contact with the infected surface.

What can be done to minimize the presence of influenza virus in my facility?

Proper waste handling is an excellent area to start. Tissues and any other disposable items used by infected persons should be immediately deposited in the trash. Persons carrying influenza should also take great care not to sneeze or cough openly, as this can result in a much more rapid spread of the virus in high traffic environments. Any janitorial or cleaning staff should also be cautious while handling waste, and thoroughly wash or otherwise disinfect their hands afterward to help ensure the virus does not spread to them. Public areas are a prime target for influenza, practically a hive of bacterial and viral contamination. Among these areas are conference rooms, restrooms, kitchens or break rooms, and any other area with high traffic. Surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly with an appropriate solution capable of killing the virus, such as chlorine, detergents, iodine-based antiseptics, or alcohols.

A proper, thorough cleaning and maintenance regimen, coupled with responsible staff, will help ensure that exposure to influenza virus is kept to a minimum. Day porter and round-the-clock janitorial services from Atlantic Building Solutions will provide you with a consistently healthy and clean workplace, save you money, and customizable cleaning and service options to fit your specific needs and availability. contact us today, and experience the ABS Difference!

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