Flu Season 2016: A Season Full of Cheer Or a Season Full of Fear?
As a Facility Manager, the flu and its associated risks should concern you. The holiday season is in full tilt and this time of year finds most of us incredibly busy. With work, family obligations and a bustling retail season, getting taken down by the flu can throw a wrench into carefully crafted plans. While Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and more can make it a magical time of year, the holiday season also ushers in some less than charmed things, like flu season. Not only can the flu, also called influenza, take you down at the worst possible times, as a Facility Manager, the flu can have serious implications for your business. A round of the flu sweeping through your facility unchecked can devastate employee morale, lower productivity and push absenteeism to new heights. But fear not, we have gathered a ‘flu season survival kit’ with tips on how to enlist the help of your commercial janitorial services to minimize the unnecessary spread of the flu and keep the numbers of sick employees down to a livable minimum. Flu season can be unpredictable and you can’t keep everyone from getting ill. Yet, with a few smart, precautionary actions, you can get ahead of the flu and avoid a facility pandemic.
Does Your Commercial Cleaning Company Know Where the Flu Lurks?
The single most important factor in managing the spread of the flu and other common communicable diseases is understanding where germs and bacteria congregate and what measures to take in order to keep levels low and reduce person to person transmission. Which areas of your building are germ central? As you might expect, restrooms are a hotbed of germ activity. The business of ‘doing your business’ can be inherently germy and we touch things: door handle, faucet handles, paper towel dispensers and more. If not adequately maintained, restrooms can harbor germs that are quickly passed on from person to person. While we can’t see germs, if you notice signs that your cleaning company is asleep on the job, like standing water, overfull trash cans and a funky odor, understand that they are putting you and your building occupants at risk. Additionally, germs like to hang out on the variety of surfaces human hands touch each day. These high touch points are often referred to as hot spots, because they can be a hot bed of germ activity. In a typical office, this might include things like: light switches, computer mice and touch pads, telephones and other shared equipment. All it takes is Jim from receivables wiping his nose as he recuperates from a cold or flu and then opening the office refrigerator, leaving a cluster of microscopic germs just waiting to hitch a ride on the hands of someone else. While we can’t fully eliminate germs on oft used surfaces, we can reduce their numbers thus reducing the risk of illness transmission. An effective commercial cleaning company in Michigan that understands the science of clean and emphasizes touch point cleaning is your best defense against the 2016 flu season.
Does Your Commercial Cleaning Service Understand the Science of Clean?
No flu survival kit is complete without an effective cleaning services company that understands the science of clean. The janitorial field has made leaps and bounds over the last several years and with these advances has come a better understanding of how to get a cleaner clean, every time. Your commercial cleaning services must be equipped with far more than a mop and a bucket. They must understand and train their teams in the tenets of proper cleaning. They must understand the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing. They must appreciate and employ the use of appropriate dwell times, or the amount of time a cleaning product must sit wet on a surface to effectively kill germs. Your janitorial company must utilize best practices that are known to reduce cross contamination and keep people healthier like color-coded cleaning cloths. Partner with a commercial cleaning company that appreciates the science behind effective cleaning and you can survive even the most virulent flu season.
It’s Like Mom Always Told You, Wash Your Hands!
While a professional, experienced Michigan janitorial company is your single best defense against flu season 2016, there are some things you and your employees or building occupants can do to reduce the spread of the flu and other communicable illnesses. As mom always said, wash your hands! Simple healthy habits like regular hand washing are incredibly effective at reigning in germs and diminishing the spread of illness in your facility. Washing your hands offers an effective first line of defense in reducing the amount of germs circulating throughout your facility. But in order for hand washing to be effective, it must be done correctly. While this may seem like a no brainer, you might be surprised how many people wash their hands incorrectly or not at all. We checked in with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the authority on controlling the spread of disease, on how to properly wash one’s hands.
- Wash hands before, during, and following food preparation and eating.
- Wash hands before and after tending a sick person.
- Wash hands before and after treating any wound, cut or abrasion.
- Always wash hands after using the toilet, changing diapers or attending to a child who has used the toilet
- Wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Wash hands anytime you have touched garbage.
And how do they recommend you wash your hands? First, wet your hands with clean water from a sink. Use appropriate hand soap and rub hands together to create lather, being certain to include the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and beneath fingernails. This physical rubbing and scrubbing should take at least 20 seconds in order to remove the most soil and germs. To finish, rinse your hands in clean, running water and dry them with a paper towel or air-dry them.
Don’t Let This Year’s Cold & Flu Season Get the Best of You
With the help of the right commercial cleaning company, you can eliminate germs where they hide out. And with a few simple healthy practices, you and your building occupants can keep the spread of the flu to a minimum. Band together to create your ‘flu survival kit’ and establish a healthier workplace while safeguarding the reputation and health of your facility.