Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Cintas release 11.9

Germ Hotspots: Five Strategies for Preventing Flu in the Workplace Simple disinfection strategies from Cintas for killing germs and maintaining healthy buildings

CINCINNATI — The U.S. Department of Health estimates that five to 20 percent of Americans will contract the flu each year, with more than 200,000 hospitalized for flu-related complications. To help eliminate flu-causing organisms, the Cintas Corporation (NASDAQ: CTAS) today announced five disinfection strategies for targeting germ hotspots. By identifying the main areas where viruses and bacteria thrive, the tips help facility managers focus disinfection efforts, keeping building occupants safe and healthy throughout the flu season.

“People often contract the flu by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their own mouth or nose,” said Dave Mesko, Senior Marketing Director, Cintas. “By focusing cleaning programs on specific areas throughout the building known to harbor bacteria, facility managers can do their part to keep guests and employees healthy.”   

Cintas identifies the following germ hotspot disinfection tips:

1)    Disinfect high-touch surfaces: The Journal of Medical Virology estimates that viruses and bacteria can remain on hard surfaces for up to 18 hours. To reduce illness, ensure that high-touch surfaces such as door handles, desks, keyboards and phones are disinfected regularly. Use a combination of anti-microbial cleaners and disinfectants to remove and kill pathogenic micro-organisms that thrive in these areas. Increase cleaning frequencies of high-touch surfaces during the flu season to protect guests and staff against infection.

2)    Deep clean restrooms: The buildup of harmful germs in restrooms can easily transfer to guest hands and cause illness. To thoroughly sanitize restroom surfaces, implement a deep cleaning system that reaches all corners and sanitizes grout lines, walls, sinks, faucets and commodes. Combining high-pressure equipment and industry-grade chemicals will thoroughly remove harmful bacteria from restroom surfaces.  

3)    Be mindful of matting: While matting can be an effective method to trap and contain germs, soiled floor mats can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and microbes. In fact, research has shown that about 96 percent of footwear contains traces of fecal matter and dangerous bacteria. To ensure that illness-causing bacterium doesn’t transfer back onto shoes or into air, keep matting in top condition. Partner with a matting service provider and develop a weekly laundering schedule to ensure that matting stays clean and effective in removing bacteria from footwear.

4)    Don’t forget flooring: Flooring can contain more than 2 million bacteria per square inch, making it one of the top germ hotspots. To reduce overall bacteria levels throughout the facility, use clean mops and tools specifically designed to prevent cross contamination by separating dirty water from clean water. A mop service will replace soiled mops with clean mops on a weekly basis to ensure that tools are always in top condition.

5)    Promote hand washing: With more than 50,000 bacteria per square inch, hands are an area where germs commonly thrive. Encouraging frequent hand washing is the single most effective method for reducing the spread of illness among guests and employees. Provide anti-microbial hand soap at employee and guest sinks throughout the facility. Center-pull paper towel dispensers reduce contact between hands and dispensing units to provide an added level of protection against bacteria. In areas without sinks, consider installing hand- sanitizer dispensers or disinfecting wipe stations. Remind employees and guests about the importance of hand washing and how they contribute to infection-prevention programs.

“The flu season is a great time to revamp cleaning and disinfection policies,” added Mesko. “By increasing cleaning frequencies and promoting hand washing, facility managers can do their part in preventing the spread of the flu.”

For more information about Cintas’ solutions for facilities, please visit http://www.cintas.com/facilityservices/.

For daily facility management updates follow @cintasclean.

About Cintas:
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products and services and document management services for more than 900,000 businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.