Citation, a leading employment law and health & safety compliance specialist, publishes article on the danger to UK business of infectious diseases, and ways in which to combat the threat.
A recent article by health & safety compliance specialists Citation, has highlighted the problem of infectious diseases within the workplace, and the ways in which to combat them.
Published in April 2013, the post explains that while many poorly workers resist the temptation to take time off, in order to keep up with hectic work schedules, these employees could actually do more harm than good. A reluctance to stay at home and fall behind with work is blamed for the speed with which illnesses can be spread around a workplace.
When under the weather, it is important to consider the risk of spreading infections to colleagues.
An increase in occupationally acquired infections and illnesses has lead to an increase in the importance of proper infection control within the workplace.
Infection control is similar to any other element of health and safety compliance. One of the most important factors is simple common sense. As explained within the Citation article, it is important to first identify the hazards, assess the levels of risk and ultimately control these risks.
It isn’t just employees who are exposed to potential infections, but visitors, customers and members of the public, and creating the safest environment possible is paramount.
The Citation article identifies the three main factors in the containment of an infectious disease: source, transmission and host.
The main sources of infection include blood and other fluids such as saliva, human or animal waste including faeces, urine and vomit, respiratory discharges like coughs and sneezes, and finally direct contact with the skin.
In order for infections to spread, they must be transferred from the source to the host. Many micro-organisms have specific ways of entering the system, whilst others are more versatile. For the most part, transmission occurs when placing contaminated hands fingers, or pens into the mouth, nose or eyes, or when breathing infected aerosol droplets from the air. Other methods of transmission include splashes of blood and other bodily fluids entering the mouth nose and eyes, or broken skin coming into contact with anything which might have been infected by the biological agent. Sharp object which can been contaminated might also penetrate the skin and cause infection.
The body has a number of natural defences to these kinds of infections, but micro-organisms can breach these defences. When they do the body relies upon the immune system as its secondary line of defence. But some people are more susceptible than others due to reduced immunity caused by pre-existing illnesses or medical treatments.
All workplaces should be kept tidy and clean as possible at all time and areas which are likely to be contaminated by bacteria should be thoroughly deep cleaned on a regular basis. But it isn’t just these areas that need to be clean. Staff should be encouraged to wash their hands after visiting the toilet, blowing their noise, touching raw food or bodily fluids. Interestingly enough the article also explains that tens of thousands of bacteria can be found on ladies handbags, and other removable items.
For more information on health and safety in around the workplace pay a visit to the official Citation website today or call 0845 234 0404.