Are you nervous about going back to work in an office? How to make sure your office as safe as possible

By Thomas | 12/23/2020

Every business has a duty of care to its staff and a healthy working environment is the basis for a healthy company.

Coronavirus can remain active on surfaces for many hours meaning door handles become key sources of infection.

But did you know that by placing a hand sanitiser in the direct path of a user, you can more than TRIPLE hand sanitation rates?

The team at PullClean conducted research and found the following:

  • Coronaviruses can survive on inanimate objects and can remain viable for up to five days at temperatures of 22-25°C and relative humidity of 40-50%, which is typical of air-conditioned indoor environments.*2
  • Increasing hand hygiene compliance (HHC) has been shown to decrease rates of nosocomial disease.*1
  • Where running water and soap is provided, baseline hand hygiene compliance is just 26%.*1
  • Installing hand sanitiser dispensers can increase hand hygiene compliance to 48%. *1
  • PullClean has proven to increase HHC compliance to 71%.*1
  • Placing the sanitizer in the pathway of the user increases use.
  • PullClean provides an intuitive method of sanitising hands and reduces the likelihood of people forgetting to sanitise their hands
  • PullClean does not interfere with the flow of people through zones (Doorways) and therefore prevents bottlenecking
  • It prevents potential blocking of pathways (Like stand mounted dispensers) and becoming a potential hazard during a fire.
  • PullClean is an integrated solution and therefore less likely to be removed, damaged or stolen.
  • Installing PullClean allows offices to keep doors closed where the alternative is to prop-open doors so as to avoid contact with handles.

One of the PullClean Inventors, Dr Jake McKnight, has some top tips on how to make your office safer

Jake is a Global Health Researcher at Oxford Health System Collaboration (OHSCAR) based within Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford. His interests lie in hand hygiene, AMR, health seeking behaviour, health technologies and hospital management.

He is also a Board Member of OpenClean™ Technologies and an inventor of the PullClean® hand sanitising door handle.

Jake studied Product Design Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, going on to complete an MA in African Studies at the University of Oxford. This led onto a Dphil in Management Research with a focus on change in poorly resourced hospitals. He has managed hospitals in Angola and Somalia before taking up a full-time research post at the University of Oxford and founding OpenClean.™

He is therefore an authority on what you can be doing to make your office as safe as possible, having consulted with different settings where people come together, all over the world.

He says, "Our mission is to make hand sanitising intuitive and not something we will forget, are too busy or distracted to do, and to educate around Critical Contamination Points. There’s a lot we still don’t know about the virus at this stage, but all the evidence suggests that keeping hands clean is a really important way of reducing infection."

  1. Stay Home if You Can

    No matter how safe your office is, if it involves people coming together and working in close quarters, the chances of infections being transmitted is higher. So, for those who can, working from home is the most sensible option. The world has changed and so must your office. Push for back-to-work briefs and explain make sure you’re aware of where you are expected to sanitise your hands, and what areas are out of bounds.

  2. Bubble your office

    Once you’ve determined who is coming back to work, the office should be split into zones or bubbles. It’s best if these bubbles are split by walls, but if you’re in an open-plan office, you can still zone your office by creating distance between different groups working together. Ask your superiors if they’d considered how everyone is going to be split.

  3. Ventilate

    How the coronavirus infects people is one of the most controversial areas of the science, but there is a growing consensus that the virus is airborne This suggests that common working areas should be very well ventilated. Open windows wherever you can and ask everyone to keep their distance as much as possible.

References

*1 - American Journal of Infection Control from the John Hopkins Medical Institute
*2 COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC) www.gov.uk)

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