Even if your health and safety policies are watertight and razor sharp, how sure are you that your workplace is healthy? There are some surprising areas of every workspace that contain – and grow – some horrendous hazards. Read on to find out more about where they are – and how to solve the problems.
The open plan office
Let’s start with the recent trend of open plan offices. The concept of these workplaces is that they promote teamwork, transparency, and creativity. But it isn’t always the case. In fact, due to the noise and lack of privacy, open plan offices can lead to higher levels of stress for employees. And, as everyone knows, stress can lead to severe conditions such as high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease.
Are your cleaners disinfecting your workspace door handles every day? In truth, it might not be enough. Door handles are everywhere, and it’s the one thing that everyone touches, regardless of where they have just been. Toilets, food halls, with ill people – it doesn’t matter. Every time they go through a door, they will be passing germs onto the handle. Make sure your doors are cleaned properly every day. You might even consider investing in a hand wash and dotting it around the building in the same way hospitals do.
Old hand dryers that haven’t been serviced or maintained for years are also big suppliers of germs and bacteria. It means that even when people wash their hands after using the bathroom, they are still coming out with a health hazard. Make sure you are servicing all bathroom facilities and buy some new hand dryers if you need them. It will save you plenty of sick days throughout the year.
You might think it great that your employees are happy to eat their lunch at their desks while working hard on the next big project. The trouble is, can you be sure they will still be there by the hand-in date? The truth is that food and debris fall into hard-to-reach areas like computer keyboards – and stays there. It attracts bacteria, grows mold, and can cause infectious illnesses. Regular cleaning can help, of course – a can of compressed air is an excellent tool.
Communal kitchens and staff rooms are great places for employees to relax and grab a bite to eat. But that’s not all they will give them. Communal coffee pots and dispensers, vending machines, and fridges are all in contact with lots of people over the course of a day. Can you guarantee they are free of germs? If not, it won’t take long before the office staff start dropping like flies.
Finally, plenty of business owners up and down the country like to treat their staff on occasion. But, pastries, cakes and candies are doing them more harm than good. People tend to make illogical eating decisions when presented with unhealthy food – they see it as a gift or a freebie. But, all those stop-offs at Dunkin Donuts is going to have a grave impact on their health if you make them too often.