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November 2, 2015

Flu Prevention Tips for Facilities

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It’s that time of year again, flu season. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates between 5% and 20% of the population gets the flu each year. Offering flu shot clinics at your facility, during business hours, is a great start to help prevent this virus from spreading in the workplace.  Below are a few other precaution you can take this winter.

Use the Right Cleaner

Always insist on a cleaner clearly marked as EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)-registered to kill the Influenza A virus. While not every disinfectant will be right for your facility, there are multiple types of cleaners that are effective against the flu, including chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide and quaternary ammonium-based cleaners. Keep in mind that different disinfectant products will have different contact times, meaning that some may need to be applied longer than others to be effective. Be sure to check all relevant labels before use.

Know the Risk Areas

Everyone knows that germs can spread like wildfire across facility surfaces, but do you know what area is the most likely to be harboring them? If you said restrooms, think again. Studies have shown that break rooms/lunch rooms are actually have the most germs in a building. Make sure to focus on countertops, vending machines and refrigerators for extra cleaning.

Empower Your Occupants

A great sanitation program doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Providing hand sanitizer in common areas and sanitizing wipes on desks can help employees and guests keep themselves safe. You can also remind everyone to wash their hands thoroughly after contact with waste baskets, used tissues or bathroom surfaces.

Be Surface Smart

Although it might seem obvious, any surface in your building could be a hotbed for bacteria. Pay special attention to areas that may go overlooked. A recent study found that when hands aren’t washed properly, even the electric air dryers in a facility’s bathroom can become a bacteria breeding ground. Be sure to communicate with your day porters and custodial staff to ensure they know that it’s not just the toilet handle that needs to be disinfected; it’s every surface!