How to Prevent Cold and Flu Spread in Your Facilities
‘Tis the Season
Bad news folks, cold and flu season is no longer approaching; it’s here, and reports suggest we should expect it to be a rough one. Last year’s flu season was the longest in 10 years by some metrics and Australia, a country who’s flu season is often an accurate predictor for our own, welcomed their flu season two months earlier than expected. There have already been documented cases of the flu in the United States this year and it’s very important to know how to properly prevent cold and flu spread in your facilities.
Effects of Cold and Flu in Your Facilities
Did you know that U.S. employees miss on average 17 million workdays due to the flu? This figure amounts to over $7 billion dollars in lost productivity per year. In schools, cold and flu outbreaks result in students missing hundreds of millions of school days each year. For public schools, each absenteeism results in lost support dollars from the state that can add up astoundingly. Much of the problem is caused by presenteeism – when students attend school or employees attend work while they are sick and spread germs to healthy classmates or colleagues via touch points.
Preventing the Spread of Germs
A common misconception is that hand to hand contact is the primary medium of spreading germs. In reality, the flu virus only survives for a few minutes on human skin. That however, is plenty of time for hands to spread germs to touch points in your facility where the virus can live for up to 2 days. Some of these include doorknobs, light switches, counters, tables, chair tops, kitchen appliance handles, keyboards/computer equipment, elevator buttons and their greater surrounding areas. It is imperative to disinfect these surfaces as often as possible during the cold and flu season. This can be effectively achieved by wiping the surfaces down utilizing a disinfectant, but there are newer methods utilizing electrostatic technology, that allow you to disinfect these surfaces at an extremely accelerated rate.
Prevent Cold and Flu Spread with the Clorox Total 360 System
The Clorox Total 360 system utilizes electrostatic technology to positively charge ionized particles of disinfectant cleaner to uniformly coat surfaces instantly saving you labor time and money while protecting your employees, students and/or patrons. This system has been especially successful in schools and universities disinfecting classrooms quickly and preventing illness spread and absenteeism. See the below video for a complete overview.
Proper Hand Washing is Still Important to Prevent Cold and Flu Spread
Hand sanitizers, while effective are not a suitable replacement for washing your hands. You must effectively remove the soil form your hands to kill the germs and that can’t be achieved using sanitizer alone. It’s good practice to routinely remind workers how to properly wash their hands and keep soap dispensers full in all restrooms and break rooms. Pairing proper hand washing with using alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout the day is one of the simplest ways to prevent cold and flu spread. After all, your hands are coming into contact with germ bearing items all day long. One additional tip is to utilize credit cards as much as possible during cold and flu season. While the flu virus can live on credit cards for a few hours, on paper money, it can survive up to 72 hours and if mixed with human mucus, up to 17 days.
How Johnston Can Help
Johnston prides itself on providing exceptional products to suit your disinfection and handwashing needs. Our experts can help you assess your current situation and evaluate the best way to deploy new systems and processes throughout your facilities. Johnston works with many exceptional vendors to deliver quality products, training and service to our customers. In addition, our experts can help identify potential problem areas in your processes and help you to improve them through training, reinforcement and proper product selection. Our team even offers laundry and warewash services as well as preventative maintenance programs where an expert from our team will check on your fleet regularly, keep it in great working order and inform you of any necessary maintenance or repairs. Contact a Johnston expert today to get started.
Johnston has always stood for reliability, commitment, quality, and service. Our heritage means years of accumulated industry knowledge, the ability to see the bigger picture, and the know-how to determine the best possible approach. Combining this mastery with the drive to deliver exceptional results, Johnston goes beyond sales, developing strategic, end-to-end tailored solutions for each customer since 1881.