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Here’s how viruses spread in the workplace (and what to do about it) 

Perhaps the defining event of the past few years, COVID-19 has reconceptualised how we treat the issue of hygiene in almost every aspect of our lives, including in the workplace. Fighting the omnipresent threat that viruses pose has been a key feature of the concerted efforts to allow people to return to life as normal. Let’s explore how viruses spread in the workplace, and look at some ways to effectively prevent them from spreading.

How viruses spread

Viruses spread in two main ways, with each necessitating a slightly different approach when it comes to disinfecting:

Via the air

One way that they can spread is via respiratory droplets and aerosols, which are put into the air when someone who’s infected coughs, sneezes, or even breaths. If someone then breaths those droplets in, there’s a high chance that they will then become infected themselves.

Via surfaces

Another way that viruses can spread is via surfaces. If the respiratory droplets and aerosols settle on a surface in high enough concentrations, and then someone else touches those droplets and ingests them, there is a chance that they will become infected as well.

What to do about it

There are a number of steps that you can take to actively fight the spread of viruses in the workplace:

1. Ventilation

One of the best ways of fighting the spread of viruses in any space is by ensuring that there are adequate levels of ventilation. In some scenarios, however, this can be quite tricky. Some buildings don’t have enough windows, and during the cold depths of winter, it might not be suitable to leave the ones that are there open. However, with fans and advanced air conditioning and filtration units, it is achievable.

2. Mobile UVC sanitation units

Mobile UVC sanitation units, like those made by VIOA, can provide an efficient and effective way of fighting the spread of viruses in the workplace. Using powerful ultraviolet light, these units can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in the air and on surfaces. While there is obviously a reasonably high upfront cost, the savings made from not having to manually disinfect rooms on a regular basis will lead to a surprisingly quick ROI.

3. Hand cleaning

Hand cleaning is a simple yet effective way of fighting against the spread of viruses. While people should obviously wash their hands after going to the bathroom, make sure that employees also wash their hands before using communal items in the kitchen and other similar areas. 

It can also be beneficial to have easily accessible disinfectant spots located around the office, preferably with sensor-activated hand gel dispensers. Making these dispensers accessible will lead to a massive increase in usage, as people are more likely to use them if they don’t have to go searching first.