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Training your employees on control measures such as hand hygiene is an effective remedy against infections. (photo: Pat Herman)
Training your employees on control measures such as hand hygiene is an effective remedy against infections.
08.12.2016, 15:44

Tips for Effective Infection Control

White Papers & Briefings, Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE)

 

Influenza and norovirus are among the most infectious diseases and affect us in more ways than we can imagine. Businesses lose billions of dollars every year in terms of lost workdays to seasonal infections. An infection can easily spread within an organization and affect several employees at the same time if proper control measures are not in place. But there are some things any organization can do to limit the spread of infections in their facilities. Here are some tips that you can implement in your home or office to control infections:


1. Use Disinfectants when Cleaning Surfaces

Most cleaning detergents and soaps remove germs, but do not kill them. Hence, germs may still spread in your environment even after cleaning all surfaces with soap and water. This is why it is imperative to use cleaning agents that contain disinfectants.


Some of the disinfectants that are effective in controlling the flu virus include hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, and Quaternary ammonium. Read the labels on the cleaning agents to determine if they contain a disinfectant. Some disinfectants are specifically manufactured to kill the norovirus and influenza virus.


2. Practice Hand and Environmental Hygiene

Infections spread fast in dirty environments. Keeping your indoors and outdoors clean is critical, especially when there is an outbreak. Drain any stagnant water in your yard and ensure that your drainage system is working properly. Dispose of all waste properly and hire a reliable waste disposal service. Cleaning your surfaces with disinfectants should be part of the daily cleaning routine. Practice washing your hands with a disinfectant throughout the day to avoid contaminating your food or drinks. Check the hygiene of your food as well to avoid foodborne infections.


3. Pay Attention to High-Touch Surfaces

You may not disinfect all surfaces in your home or office every day because of time and cost constraints. However, you must clean and disinfect high touch surfaces every day. The surfaces that require more attention include doorknobs, desks, PCs, mobile devices, and countertops among others.


4. Get Information

Get as much information as you can on seasonal infections and effective methods of controlling them. The University of Arizona released a great paper on the evolution of the influenza virus aimed at students who want to pursue a master of public health degree online. It has many great statistics on the virus, as well as tips on how to avoid an infection. Other valuable resources such as the CDC have tons of information for institutions wanting to limit the spread of infections in their facilities.


5. Education and Training

You cannot control an infection effectively if the people in your environment are ignorant or uninformed about the infection. Train your employees on control measures such as hand hygiene. Educate them on the importance of getting seasonal vaccines and ensure that everyone is vaccinated. Encourage infected employees to stay at home until they recover fully. If you want to control seasonal infections in your community, consider pursuing an MPH degree. You will gain the knowledge and skills to train communities on how to control the spread of infections in their homes and workplaces.


Controlling infections such as flu and norovirus takes more than cleaning your surfaces with soap and water. Use disinfectants regularly when cleaning your surfaces and pay attention to high-touch surfaces. You also need to educate those around how to keep the environment clean and control infections.

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