6 Tips for Workplace Cold and Flu Prevention

Colds and flu are passed very easily from person to person in the absence of preventative measures. The cold and flu season tends to run from May to September in Australia. When it arrives, workplaces can play host to the transmission of colds and flu between staff. Luckily, easy preventative measures can be taken to reduce the chances of colds spreading. These are six practical ways to prevent the spread of viruses in your workplace.

1. Keeping the Workplace Clean

People with cold are the most contagious during the first two to three days of contracting the cold. Those with the flu are immediately contagious and for five days after being infected. Ensuring that the workplace is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected is a sound basis for building your strategy for prevention. Services for office cleaning in Sydney and elsewhere can assist with regular and professional standard cleaning.

2. Handwashing Practices

Effective handwashing practices can help with containing germs and viruses. Encourage staff to follow these guidelines for washing their hands:

  • Hands should be washed with disinfectant soap for at least 15 to 20 seconds.
  • A hand sanitiser or disinfectant soap should be used each time.
  • Use hands-free faucets and taps where possible.
  • Provide hand dryers to encourage the best hygiene standards.

Although it may seem obvious, it’s a good idea to emphasise the importance of washing hands after eating, using the bathroom, and coming into contact with shared surfaces.

3. Addressing Shared Surfaces

Colds and flu may be spread anytime staff come into contact with shared surfaces. Shared surfaces or potentially contaminated surfaces can include:

  • Other people’s hands, for example, after shaking hands.
  • Touching a doorknob or appliance and equipment handles and buttons.
  • Coffee pots.
  • Another person’s workstation.
  • Sinks and faucets.
  • Any food which has been handled by others.
  • The elevator.
  • Books or office manuals.
  • Kitchen countertops.

Shared surfaces should be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Services for commercial in cleaning Sydney and elsewhere can ensure that these areas are adequately cleaned and hygiene levels maintained.

4. Improving Indoor Air Quality

Clean, fresh air can reduce the chances of viruses spreading and support the immune system health of staff at the workplace.

  • Use indoor plants – one of the best and most cost-effective air filters.
  • Use air filters if necessary, especially in industrial spaces.
  • Keep carpets, curtains, and other surfaces very well cleaned to reduce dust mite levels.
  • Clean and update ventilation systems where necessary.

5. Encouraging Employees to Keep Healthy

Encourage employees to keep healthy allows their immune systems to respond better to viruses and germs. Other than air quality, periodic stretching, posture, ergonomics, and eliminating allergens in the workplace can all facilitate health and reduce the incidences of flu and colds.

6. When Someone is Sick

If an employee has already caught the cold or flu, managers may want to recommend that staff stay away from work until they’re no longer infectious. If employees do need to come into the workplace for some reason, make sure that they’re kept away from other staff members to reduce the chances of spreading viruses.

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