Did you know that more than 10 million bacteria live on the typical office desk? That’s 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. When was the last time you cleaned high-contact areas like your desk?
One of the main priorities in your work environment is the health and safety of your employees. Of course, you wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and keep your desk clean—but you can do several other things to lower the number of germs floating around in your office.
High-contact areas are the germiest areas in your workplace. Continue reading to learn more about high-touch areas and how to get rid of the bacteria they contain.
High-touch or high-contact areas are surfaces frequently touched by numerous people in a shared space. These surfaces are covered in bacteria because many people are constantly using them after eating, using the bathroom, or touching other high-contact areas.
Examples of high-touch areas are:
- Communal spaces: Door handles/knobs, stairway railings, light switches, elevators and elevator buttons, chairs, staff lunch rooms, conference rooms
- Bathroom surfaces: Toilets, toilet handles, toilet paper roll dispenser, hand dryers, sinks, soap and paper towel dispensers
- Work-related surfaces: Desks, printers, mice, phones, desktop monitors, laptops, keyboards, storage spaces
- Kitchen appliances: Coffee pots/makers, refrigerators, microwaves, cupboards, countertops, water fountains, ice machines
High-contact areas must be disinfected every day, if not multiple times per day. When people touch these surfaces, they carry all the germs of everyone else who touched them—and that’s a lot of germs!
The National Library of Medicine claims microorganisms can survive on high-touch surfaces for hours to months if they’re not regularly cleaned.
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Let’s take a look at how much bacteria is living on your high-touch points:
|High-Touch Point||Number of Bacteria|
|Toilet||50 bacteria per square inch|
|Sink||2,733 bacteria per square inch|
|Refrigerator||7,850 bacteria per centimeter|
|Water fountain||2.7 million bacteria per square inch|
|Doorknob||217 bacteria per square inch|
|Light switch||217 bacteria per square inch|
|Desk||Over 10 million bacteria|
|Keyboard||3,000 bacteria per square inch|
These numbers might seem shocking, but think about how many things you touch in just one hour or day. In one workday, you use the restroom, take phone calls, open the microwave or fridge during lunch, and maybe grab take out.
You’re constantly touching something, and so is everyone else, so it’s no surprise that many bacteria live on these surfaces.
What can you do to combat the spread of germs when so many live on the surfaces you touch the most? Creating a daily disinfection schedule is an excellent place to start.
Many commercial cleaners specialize in high-contact area cleaning. You can hire them for daily cleaning services to ensure your high-touch points are always disinfected.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces at least once a day or more frequently, depending on the number of people in your space.
There are several things you can do to reduce the spread of germs in high-contact areas:
We know it’s obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t wash their hands, even in communal spaces. According to the USDA, people don’t wash their hands correctly 97% of the time! The CDC also found that 25% of people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom or blowing their nose.
Remind your employees to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Consider hanging up graphics about handwashing in shared spaces like the kitchen or bathroom.
Handwashing isn’t always readily available. Say you’re on a client call and you sneeze—you can’t get up and wash your hands right then and there. Having hand sanitizer available to every employee helps kill germs if they can’t wash their hands.
High contact areas must be cleaned once per day, if not more. Hire a professional janitorial team to clean and disinfect high-traffic areas. An outsourced commercial cleaner has the right cleaning products for each surface type and more cleaning experience than the average person.
While non-high contact areas only need to be deep cleaned once or twice a year, these areas must be deep cleaned every single day because they hold much more bacteria.
Doing all of the above will significantly reduce the number of bacteria living on your high-contact surfaces, helping to improve your employees’ health and well-being.
If you want to keep your high-contact areas sanitized, partner with Absolute Janitorial. We understand the importance of keeping your employees healthy and want to help you achieve that. We do what it takes to make your office shine, from restroom cleaning to carpet care.
Contact us today to create a customized cleaning schedule for your high-contact areas.
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Absolute Janitorial has earned a reputation for stellar cleaning services throughout our home state of Arkansas. Our experienced team members provide a range of customized cleaning services to all types of facilities, from schools to churches.