How to reduce respiratory infections in the workplace

If you want to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, take a look at our article for five essential practices of a disease-free workspace

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Preventing the spread of respiratory infections has become crucial to the successful management of any workplace environment. It’s no longer enough to have basic protection, and the need for expert health advice is more important than ever before.

Companies like Cignpost Diagnostics are using unique strategies to optimise the productivity rate of their clients. Most strategies involve situation-specific solutions, but there are several tips that can be applied to any business. With that in mind, read on to find five tips for reducing respiratory infections in the workplace.

Adequate ventilation

A well-ventilated workplace can prevent the transmission of disease. Allowing fresh air to filtrate occupied spaces not only prevents infection but also breaks down any concentrations of airborne germs and bacteria.

Many companies have found it worth their while to invest in an effective ventilation system. Typically, these systems are installed with filters that can target the most common air contaminants.

Ventilation systems also keep your workplace dry. Dampness and high humidity are just as hazardous as stale air, so it’s incredibly important to maintain a balance between moisture and dryness.

There are additional measures that can be taken, such as the use of local exhaust ventilation (LEV), CO2 sensors, and the installation of a temperature control unit. However, as far as general tips go, fresh air is all you really need.

Regular cleaning

A clean workspace can significantly reduce the risk of infection. Respiratory diseases often spread through the air, but diseased particles can and will cling to any surfaces in the environment.

In order to prevent floors, desks, and other surfaces from becoming contaminated, it’s imperative that cleaning and maintenance duties are performed regularly. Outsourcing these duties has become the preferred option for many industries.

Keeping a workplace tidy isn’t just a health concern. Various studies show that tidiness also affects productivity and motivation levels. No one likes to work in an untidy workspace, and employees thrive when their environment is clean and healthy.

Companies should be willing to educate their employees on all aspects of cleanliness, be it washing their hands regularly, wearing clean clothes, or any other basics. These fundamentals may appear obvious to some of us, but their importance is often underestimated.

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Thorough disinfecting

Cleaning isn’t the same as disinfecting. As much as a clean and tidy workspace can prevent the spread of disease, it isn’t enough to kill off stubborn germs, especially the ones that have developed resistance to commercial cleaning products.

Disinfection requires specialised products. These products have been chemically formulated to target even the most resilient viruses. Exposure to these viruses accounts for a high percentage of occupational disease deaths, making it crucial to put protective measures in place.

Large companies need more than just hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes to protect employees adequately. Commercial cleaning services are useful in this regard, as they possess all the skills and tools needed for proper disinfection of a workspace.

By combining cleanliness with disinfection measures, employees will get sick less often and it will reduce their recovery time after an illness. In this way, employers are able to provide a work environment that is conducive to high productivity.

Educated risk profiling

As an employer, would you be able to tell which of your employees are more susceptible to respiratory diseases? This is a critical component of workspace management that often goes unnoticed.

Worker privacy is always a concern, but that privacy should never override the health and safety of other people in the same environment. Business owners should be acutely aware of this fact and ensure that employees feel safe enough to approach management.

Should any respiratory diseases become a concern, employers should take immediate action and implement measures to protect the workspace. Workers who are at risk should be isolated from potential sources of infection until adequate disinfection has been performed.

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Guideline adherence

As recently as April of 2022, the UK government introduced new guidelines on how to reduce the spread of respiratory diseases in work environments. Essentially, these guidelines provide all the knowledge any business needs to operate responsibly.

Protecting staff by following these guidelines provides several benefits, such as the aforementioned increase in productivity. However, it’s worth noting that the guidelines are merely meant to serve as the basis for further development of protective measures.

Employees should be well-educated on preventative measures and correct health practices. Early symptoms of respiratory diseases, such as coughing or shortness of breath, should be treated with the seriousness they deserve, and all available resources must be utilised to prevent even the chance of a spread of infection.