No matter what sector you’re in, every business faces the risk of contagious illnesses in the workplace, especially during the fall and winter. These illnesses not only impact employee health and well-being, but they can also affect productivity, morale, and your bottom line. In fact, a study done by The World Bank and recently analyzed in a new study found the economic losses from six major outbreaks between 1997 and 2009 amounted to at least $80 billion. As businesses become increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy environment, understanding the most common contagious illnesses has never been more crucial.
Common Types of Contagious Illnesses in the Workplace
Workplaces can be a hotspot for various diseases. People come from different homes and environments where they are exposed to different germs, and then all file into the same building. It can just take one sick person to infect an entire department. The most common types of contagious illnesses can include:
- Influenza (Flu): The flu is a contagious respiratory virus that can affect the lungs, throat, and nose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The flu can spread easily when people cough or sneeze near others. The World Health Organization reports there are about a billion seasonal flu cases every year.
- COVID-19: Causing headlines and closures in 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 infection is no stranger to business owners. It spreads much like the flu, and the CDC says “COVID-19 has become a part of the respiratory virus season.”
- Common Cold: According to the Mayo Clinic, most people need at least seven days to recover from the common cold, and most adults may contract two to three colds per year. That can be a tough pill to swallow when figuring out staffing. Considering we’ve probably all been plagued with the common cold at one time or another, it’s important to prevent the spread in the workplace if possible.
- Gastroenteritis: Known as the “stomach flu,” this contagious illness can be spread through unclean surfaces and hands, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Diseases More Common in Fall and Winter
During the colder months, people tend to stay indoors more, leading to closer contact and less ventilation. Additionally, reduced exposure to sunlight and more time indoors can mean lower vitamin D levels, which might affect the immune system.
Preventing Contagious Illnesses in the Workplace
Understanding how dangerous these illnesses can be is essential. The flu and COVID-19, for example, can lead to severe complications, especially in vulnerable populations. To prevent the spread of contagious illnesses in the workplace:
- Promote Good Hygiene: Regular handwashing, using sanitizers, and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing can limit the spread. Provide hand sanitizer to employees and customers. Make sure hand soaps are refilled regularly and paper towels are properly maintained in restrooms to promote proper hand hygiene.
- Sanitize and Disinfect: Professional cleaning, such as sanitizing and disinfecting services can keep workspaces free from harmful pathogens. An electrostatic spray service can help eliminate viruses on surfaces to sanitize and disinfect high-touch areas. To stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19 and the flu, a regular sanitizing service is a must.
- Keep Restrooms Clean: Many diseases, such as gastroenteritis, can spread in restrooms, especially if the space is not regularly and properly disinfected.
- Go Above and Beyond: Regularly update employees on the importance of hygiene and the risks associated with contagious diseases, share information about the spread of diseases, and provide information on vaccinations that may help reduce the spread of contagious illnesses.
Prevent the Spread With Enviro-Master Services
Keeping a workplace free of contagious illnesses requires effort and expertise. We use a multi-pronged approach to make sure harmful pathogens are eliminated from your business. Our sanitizing and disinfecting services include:
- Virus Vaporizer Service: An electrostatic spray combined with an EPA-registered germicide sanitizes surfaces by vaporizing germs, bacteria, and viruses on the spot and keeping them away for longer.
- Restroom and Hygiene Service: Our trained technicians deep clean restroom surfaces, working in tandem with your regular janitorial service. We remove the dirt, grime, and germs.
- Hand Hygiene Program: Clean hands are one of the best ways to prevent the spread of illnesses. We help keep your hand sanitizer dispensers and soap dispensers stocked and ready to promote healthy hand hygiene.
- Paper Management Program: Hands aren’t clean until they’re dried. Let us handle the restocking of paper towels so your employees and customers can wash and dry their hands the right way to prevent viruses.
- Tile & Grout Deep Cleaning Service: Tile and grout floors are notorious for harboring bacteria, germs, and unpleasant odors. Our specialized equipment and commercial-grade solutions, combined with gentle water pressure, effectively and safely clean tile surfaces.
A healthy team is a productive one. Our experienced technicians and advanced equipment help create a healthy, productive environment for employees and clients. Submit a form or call 1-833-GERMPRO (1-833-437-6776) to get your business sanitized.