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Is your Office making you sick?

Most employed people spend a lot of time at work, often 40 hours or more. For this reason alone it is an employer’s duty to make sure that their office environments are as safe, clean and pleasant to work in as possible.

What most people don’t realise is that “sick buildings” do actually exist. This was a phenomenon discovered in the late 1970s. As experts began investigating and tackling “sick buildings,” they soon found two completely different types of problems: building-related diseases and sick building syndrome.

Building-related diseases are distinct maladies that can be traced to a specific cause, such as colds that spread through an office, allergies and asthma brought on by dust or mould, or even cancer triggered by pesticides or asbestos.

Sick building syndrome. More common than illnesses with a traceable cause, however, are complaints of “sick building syndrome” – a constellation of symptoms that usually includes fatigue, headache, dry, itchy skin, and irritation of mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and throat. Unlike building-related diseases, these symptoms tend to disappear once people are out of the suspect building.

Whilst it is encouraging that the total number of working days lost has fallen from around 39.8 million in 2000-02 to 28.2 million in 2013/14, what employers and facility managers don’t realise is that there are still many ways to boost productivity and minimize days lost through specific cleaning measures and knowledge-based procedures.

At Trojan cleaning we ensure that all our cleaning teams are trained in the latest cleaning techniques and understand which surfaces and areas have to be cleaned with which materials, in order to reduce the risk of spreading infection. If, for example, your current office cleaner is just using a standard duster flicked over your screens and surfaces each night, you will stand more chance of picking up bacterial and viral infections like the common cold or flu or even triggering asthma.

Working to an audit-inspection level cleaning schedule in every office, nursery or GP clinic we manage, Trojan makes sure the environment is hygienically clean as standard. The benefits for our clients are knowing they are doing the best they can by their staff, increased productivity in terms of days lost and reassurance that should they have a health and safety audit their cleaning regime is up to date and fully compliant.