Survey: almost 50% of workers think they’ve fallen ill because of poor office hygiene

Hand washing helps prevent illness in the workplace

Beware of workstations and telephones says report

A worrying recent story from Australia has referred to “our rapidly deteriorating standards of workplace hygiene”, quoting a report that “…has revealed just how dire things really are.”

The article by Gary Martin has been published on the Canberra Times website. It is hugely critical of office hand hygiene standards across the country.

A simple statistic reveals the true cost of poor perceived workplace hand hygiene, which is “…thought to cost Australian business more than $5 billion annually in lost productivity.”

And nearly half of the people surveyed were of the opinion that they had fallen ill as a direct result of poor hygiene practices where they worked.

People not washing their hands properly

At the heart of the problem, writes Martin, is that hand hygiene in the workplace simply doesn’t seem to be flagged as a priority – by employers or staff.

“A surprising survey finding is that only 60 per cent of workers admit to washing their hands after doing their business”.

Taking mobile phones into the toilet is unfortunately a very common occurrence, a “less than idea” situation because it encourages a build up of potentially harmful germs in a place that enables them to have easy access to a person’s body – namely via the mouth and ears.

Lack of regular effective hand washing causes certain areas of a typical office to be surprisingly risk laden says the article, which gives photocopiers, lift buttons, fridge handles, doorknobs, cups and mugs the potential to be a “hygiene horror”.

The claim that the surface of an office desk “…is thought to contain 400 more germs than a toilet seat” is certainly food for thought…

Bosses are washing their hands of office hygiene »

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How to choose the correct mobile sink »

Teal’s worldwide distributors of portable hand wash units »