:

Containing E. coli

:
Jamie Woodhall, Technical and Innovation Manager at Initial Washroom Hygiene, says effective washroom hygiene is essential to preventing the spread of E. coli infections.

  

There are two possible sources of E. coli infections - contaminated food items, like raw chicken, and poor personal hygiene, for example not washing one’s hands after using the toilet. It has remained unclear which one of these sources is most likely to lead to infection, until last week. New research from the University of East Anglia found that not washing hands is behind the spread of a key strain of E. coli. With human-to-human transmission now confirmed as the main culprit, it is more important than ever for businesses to ensure good handwashing hygiene practice is front of mind for employees. 


A touchy subject

Hands are a natural breeding ground for germs and one of the principal carriers of harmful pathogens. Approximately 80 per cent of viruses can be transmitted through physical contact, and most can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours. With 32 per cent of the UK workforce hotdesking, and 49 per cent eating lunch regularly at their desks, there is potential for germs and illnesses to spread rapidly amongst workers in the office through cross contamination as they touch various surfaces while going about their working day.

 

The simple act of washing your hands can significantly reduce the level of bacteria present, and therefore reduce the risk of cross contamination.


Improve personal hygiene

Bacteria such as E. coli can spread quickly, especially now the temperature is dropping and people are spending more time inside. The risk increases further in a contained office environment with lots of shared touchpoints.

 

Ensure your washroom has plenty of sinks, soap dispensers and hand dryers. Putting hand washing reminders near these facilities will also encourage workers to wash, dry, and sanitise their hands properly. Given damp hands spread 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands, it is especially crucial that the drying stage is not overlooked.

 

Staff should also have access to alcohol free sanitisers around the office, which provide a quick yet long-lasting barrier to protect against microorganisms. 

 

As an extra barrier of protection, consider installing no touch soap dispensers and sanitisers, which eliminate the need for contact and – subsequently – reduce the spread of bacteria.

 

Finally, ensure washrooms are cleaned and re-stocked regularly. With reasons for not washing hands ranging from a lack of provisions like soap, to being put off by an unclean handwashing area, hygienic facilities are essential. A formalised cleaning plan, with a properly monitored and updated record or logbook, will ensure planned washroom cleans happen as they should throughout the day.

 

With 61 per cent of office workers demanding cleaner washrooms, investing in these steps will show employees your commitment to ensuring workplace hygiene is front of mind.


Keep the washroom for washing

Worryingly, more than one in 10 office workers said they take food or drink into the washroom with them, a habit that could facilitate the rapid transfer of bacteria directly from the washroom onto an item that is going to be consumed.

 

On top of that, 40% of workers admit to using their smartphone while on the toilet and 30% said they spend longer in washrooms since acquiring a smartphone. While using your phone may seem innocent enough, only 22% of workers clean their phone after using it in the washroom. This is particularly worrying when you consider that we interact with our phones 120 times per day, on average, and bring it close to our mouths when we make calls.

 

Taking items like this into the washroom is not only unhygienic, but when hands aren’t being washed properly, can increase the risk of E. coli spreading.


Final thoughts

In order to limit serious, antibiotic resistant E. coli infections, we must focus on thorough handwashing. These latest findings from the University of East Anglia serve as a vital reminder to refresh workers on the importance of washroom hygiene and ensure that the right facilities, tools and education are in place for it to remain a priority. 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Woodhall

Author

Jamie Woodhall

Article rating:

vote(s).

0 Comments

Write a Comment

:
BakerHicks Restructures and Rebrands DACH Subsidiary BakerHicks has rebranded its European Life Sciences division after integrating it with its operat...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
The Drains of Christmas Future UK wastewater and drainage solutions provider Lanes Group has reimagined "A Christmas Carol" into...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
University of Manchester Clean Room Contract SPIE UK has won an 18-month design, supply, install and commission contract for a clean room at T...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Solar Power Northeast Annual Conference 2020 (19-20 February, Boston) Siemens Business and manufacturer of power control systems and automatic transfer switches, Russe...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Circor to Open New Facility in China Control valves specialist CIRCOR International, Inc., has announced the opening of a new centrifu...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Happy Employees Make for Happy Results Uri Bar-Joseph, Mindspace's Vice-President for Marketing, discusses recent data linking company p...

0 Comments | Read more +
Paul Bradbury:
A New Opportunity for Facilities Managers Tim Barclay, Appello CEO and former COO of BT’s Global Government & Health organisation, present...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Bringing Intelligence to Buildings the Smart Way Byron BeMiller, director of the Smart Building vertical market with LoRa Alliance IoT ecosystem s...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Planning for the Future of Data Centers Tim Connor, Principal at Chicago and London based Sheehan Nagle Hartray Architects (SNHA), addres...

0 Comments | Read more +
Oleg Magni:
From Service Provider to Strategic Partner Yunusa Aminu, FM consultant with Dubai-based Gregory & Jones Consultants, makes the case for the ...

0 Comments | Read more +
Buro Millennial:
Consolidating Building Data Under One Roof Matthias Mosig, Real Estate Consulting & Advisory for TÜV SÜD Advimo, looks at how one elite Euro...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Keeping the Lights On Richard Kirkman, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer with Veolia, explains why a sea change i...

0 Comments | Read more +
Rafael Soldi (www.rafaelsoldi.com):
New Athletic Space Opens in Seattle's Columbia Center Best Practice Architecture reimagined several former retail storefront spaces to design WORKout, ...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Making Millions Safer G4S is delivering emergency first aid, fire and evacuation safety training to 10,000 employees of...

0 Comments | Read more +
Arlington Research:
The Perfect Video Conferencing Space Rene Buhay, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, EMEA and APAC for AVer Europe, provides advice f...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Enhancing JW Marriott Singapore’s Food and Beverage Operations A collaboration between JW Marriott Singapore South Beach and Ecolab has helped the hotel, alread...

0 Comments | Read more +
: Rob Charlton.
‘BIM for Good’ in the Spotlight Visitors to BIM Show Live 2020 (Newcastle, 26-27 February, 2020) will be treated to a series of d...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Recruitment at Teknologia 19 (5-7 November, Helsinki) Leading Nordic technology event Teknologia 19 will open with an "Employer of the Future" day allo...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Record Numbers Attend CIFF Shanghai Hongqiao The 44th edition of FM Industry partner event, the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF), has...

0 Comments | Read more +
: Sheikh Ahmed at today's opening ceremony at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
FM Expo 2019 FM Expo, the largest event dedicated to the Middle East's facilities management industry, has off...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Destructive Workplace Paper Waste Mark Harper of HSM UK provides insight into how and why businesses need to introduce and maintain...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
Tips for Digital Marketers in 2020 Cathy Spears explains why modern businesses require a clearly defined digital marketing strategy,...

0 Comments | Read more +
:
The Impact of Brexit on Future Workspaces Steve Marsden, Co-founder of flexible workspace search agency Domain Office Search considers the ...

0 Comments | Read more +
: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) headquarters building at 7 More London Riverside near Tower Bridge.
What Property Owners Can Learn from London’s Most Sustainable Office Spaces With sustainability on everyone’s minds, more and more businesses and large companies are making ...

0 Comments | Read more +
Brexit

0 Comments | Read more +
Property Management Officer, P3 UNITED NATIONS

0 Comments | Read more +
Service Delivery Manager MINISTRY OF JUSTICE (MOJ)

0 Comments | Read more +