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What Are Pathogens? How to Protect Your Office from Pathogens?

Posted On: June 4th, 2020 Author: Stephen Matthews

Now that we are living in a world that has already been infected by viruses like COVID-19, it helps to understand what causes the problem of the virus and how to keep yourself safe from it.

Before we can get into the vast world of viruses and bacteria, let’s start with the basics, which is pathogens.

What is a Pathogen?

In the simplest terms, a pathogen is anything that can cause disease and/or has the ability to produce a disease in humans. The most common examples include bacteria, viruses, and micro-organisms. Pathogens can cause as well as spread infectious diseases.

From Cholera to Malaria, and now COVID-19 pandemic, everything was caused by pathogens. Some of them can even turn deadly if not treated properly and on time. In most cases, it’s possible to cure pathogen-borne diseases through research-based cures.

But, in the end, it’s the prevention that can ultimately help control these pathogens more than the cures.

How to Prevent COVID-19 from Spreading in Your Office

When you’re dealing with something as deadly as a pathogen (like the COVID-19), prevention is always better than cure. If not taken care properly and on time, these pathogens can do serious harm to humans.

Pathogens can exist and be found anywhere, in the air, in the water, on the surface, and more. They can spread very fast through contact and air and can cause disease, especially in young kids, old people and those with allergies and existing diseases. And since they’re everywhere, it’s not easy to be safe from them.

More importantly, COVID-19 can exist in your workplace or office, can be on your computers and can make your employees/staff very sick in no time.

So, how do you protect yourself from the coronavirus or how do you ensure they remain away from your workspace and office?

Coronavirus Spreads Through Touch/Contact

The first thing you should know about the COVID-19 is that it spreads very fast and through touch and contact. Even if a single person is infected by a pathogen like a coronavirus in your workplace, it will take no time to reach and infect everyone else.

So, you should ensure proper hygiene and cleaning at your workplace, including regular cleaning and sanitisation/disinfection of computers, keyboards, desks, doorknobs, water taps and any other touch-sensitive surfaces.

Avoid dirty places in your office and maintain a safe distance from people. Regularly clean toilets and bathrooms. Replace water dispensers frequently.

Besides that, the following tips can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your office or workplace.

Wash Your Hands (and ask others to do so)

Make sure that everyone in your office is frequently washing their hands with soap or an alcohol-based sanitiser. This helps prevent the spread of the virus and kills germs that may have come in your hands. WHO recommends that you must wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, covering both front and back surfaces, to get rid of viruses, germs and other microorganisms.

Keep sanitiser bottles everywhere in the office so that employees can wash their hands as frequently as they need to. Also, keep sanitisers at the entry and exit points of the office so that anyone entering the office must wash their hands properly.

If possible, use an automatic sanitiser machine that can be used without having to touch it.

Clean Regularly and Thoroughly

Pathogens breed and spread in dirty places, which is why it’s important to keep your office and premises as clean as possible. Make sure that everything, including your office floors, furniture, toilets, bathrooms, kitchens, surfaces, doors, windows, etc., is cleaned daily with good quality and virus-proof cleaning solution.

Most importantly, keep the toilets and bathrooms at your office properly clean and disinfected, especially if you have common toilets/bathrooms. Toilets can easily get dirty and therefore need to be cleaned multiple times a day.

If your existing cleaner/s is not up to the task or has no idea how to clean for the coronavirus, it’s probably time to hire professional COVID-19 cleaning specialists.

Disinfect and Sanitise

Instruct your employees to sanitise their hands regularly and provide them with alcohol-based sanitisers on their desks. Also, make sure that your cleaners are maintaining proper hygiene by regularly cleaning their hands, sanitising the cleaning equipment and using clean uniforms, gloves, and masks every time.

it’s also important to frequently disinfect common-touch surfaces like the computer keypad, screen, desk, door handles & knobs, light switches, etc., as viruses can get accumulated on them. Disinfection with a high-quality disinfectant can ensure that the surfaces are free of germs and bacteria. If possible, provide disinfectant spray to the employees so that they can clean their desks before starting their work for the day.

Wash Pantry Items and Things

If your office has a kitchen and/or canteen area, make sure that everything there is being cleaned and disinfected on a frequent basis. These include the coffee machine, microwave, utensils, dishes, refrigerator as well as groceries, fruits/vegetables and packaged food items that may have been touched by others.

Wash the dishes, mugs, tiffin, etc. soon after use to prevent the virus from accumulating on it. If your staff is using the cafeteria to eat food, make sure they maintain a safe distance from everyone and avoid sharing food with each other.

Collect and Throw away Garbage Daily

Make sure that all the bins around your office campus are emptied, cleaned and sanitised constantly. For sensitive areas like toilets and bathrooms, arrange to have the bins emptied and cleaned every hour to avoid pathogens from breeding in the dirt.

Do not let the water store at any place around your premises.

Check the Temperature of your Staff

As I said, the virus spreads very fast. If even a single person at your office is infected by it, the virus won’t take much time to reach everyone. So, make sure that you stay top on the health status of your employees. And the best way to do that is performing regular temperature check-ups of all your staff members.

Ideally, the temperature of each employee at your company should be checked at the entrance point, so that the ones with a fever are simply not allowed to enter in order to protect all others.

By following the above safety measures by yourself and maintaining proper cleaning standards in your office/workplace, you can remain safe from pathogens as much as possible. In addition, you must provide instructions to your employees to implement personal hygiene and health standards and follow the tips below.

Avoid Touching Common Surfaces

When working, eating or walking around the office, your employees should avoid touching surfaces like walls, windows, doors, knobs, desks, etc. as long as possible. At the same time, they should avoid any kind of direct contact with each other, like shaking hands or standing too closely in order to avoid the spread of the infection/virus.

Use a Mask

Everyone at your office must use a mask at all times. Using a mask is one of the best ways to prevent the pathogens from spreading. Even if someone has been infected by the virus but doesn’t know about it, they cannot spread it to others as long as they are wearing a mask.

Use good quality and clean mask. If someone is using a homemade, reusable mask, make sure they’re re-using it only after washing and disinfecting it properly after each use.

Maintain a Safe Distance

Even if everyone is using a mask, it’s possible for the virus to spread through contact and other means. So, it’s also important that everyone in your company maintains a safe distance from everyone else. WHO recommends that maintaining a distance of at least 6-feet from another person can help prevent the spread of the infection.

So, if you are operating an office or workplace during the corona times, make sure that your employees sit or stand at least a few feet from one another. The best practice is to operate with 50% of your original workforce and/or on an alternative basis.

Disinfect When Exiting

When coming to the office or going back to their homes, your workers are likely to get in touch with many people and things and the chances of catching the virus are always there. So, it’s the best practice to get them disinfected every time they enter the workplace and again when exiting the office.

Also, instruct your employees to disinfect themselves or take a bath before entering their homes in order to protect their respective families from catching the virus.

These are testing times. We have to fight against a pandemic that’s bigger than any challenge we’ve ever seen so far. It’s everywhere, spreads easily and has no cure (so far). So, the best way to be safe from the coronavirus is to avoid getting infected with it, which can only be achieved by maintaining proper hygiene, cleanliness and following the government instructions about personal safety from COVID-19.

If you need help, want to know more about cleaning tips for the coronavirus, or need to hire expert COVID-19 cleaners for your office or workplaces, get in touch with us at Clean Group.

Category: Cleaning Tips

About the Author

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This is Stephen from Clean Group. I work as a full-time commercial cleaning manager and part-time writer with Clean Group - a commercial cleaning company based in Sydney, Australia. I have over 10 years of experience in working with different cleaning companies around Sydney, providing as well as managing office cleaning, carpet cleaning and other commercial cleaning jobs for both households and individuals in Australia. I also share cleaning tips and write about my experience on this website.

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