Your workplace may have more germs than you think - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Your workplace may have more germs than you think

Posted: Updated:
KHQ.COM - -

Flu season has arrived so now we be a good time to start taking extra precautions to keep germs away. But germs are lurking everywhere and the includes all over the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that "up to 80% of all infections are spread by hand contact with contaminated surfaces and direct human contact. So, most of the places we touch and come in contact with are likely harborers of germs."

Germs don't just pose a risk for the individual exposed to them, they also pose a risk to productivity in the workplace. Influenza alone is responsible for about 200 million days of reduced productivity and 75 million days of work absence annually according to the National Health Interview Survey. 

So what places in the workplace are the germiest?

Telephones: Desk phones, especially shared desk phones are a major violator of cleanliness. Think of all the different people in a single day who may be touching the phone with the hands while their mouth nearly rests on the surface. An estimated 25,000 germs per square inch can live on the workplace telephone. To prevent illness, consider wiping the phone down periodically throughout the day with sanitizing wipes. 

Elevator Buttons: Think of all the fingers that take turns pushing the buttons to get to a designated floor. Consider using your elbow of knuckle to push the button or carry a handkerchief with you for times like this when potentially germy surfaces must be touched. 

Computer Keyboards: A workplace keyboard is one place that pretty much have fingertips resting on is constantly throughout the day, so wherever those finger have been, the computer keyboard has likely been there too. For this reason, the workplace keyboard is often germier than the toilet seat. The computer keyboard is also the perfect surface for catching all those droplets from a sneeze and all those times people cough while sitting at their desk, either into their hands or out in the open, you can bet those germs are landing comfortably... on the keyboard. It's estimated keyboards can have more than 200 times as many bacteria as a toilet seat! Yikes! You're definitely going to want to pull out the Lysol for this one. 

Water Fountain: If you're really worried about germs, you will probably avoid the workplace water fountain at all costs. You're much better off just bringing a water bottle from home. And just to be clear, we're talking about the kind people drink directly from. It is estimated that there are 2.7 MILLION bacteria per square inch on public drinking fountains! 

Bathrooms: Obviously bathrooms are going to be full of germs. In fact bacteria in the bathroom is pretty much everywhere. Most office bathrooms don't have toilet seats and their main function is actually to keep germs contained. Flushing the toilet without the toilet seat down can literally spray particles up to 20 feet in the air. Use paper towels to turn off faucets after washing your hands and use one to open the door too. 

According to the CDC handwashing is what everyone should be doing multiple times a day to void off germs. "Handwashing is like a "do-it-yourself" vaccine you can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy. Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It's quick, it's simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except the germs."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane woman finds baby left in freezing car

    Spokane woman finds baby left in freezing car

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:33 PM EST2018-02-23 01:33:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Picture this, a baby freezing, bawling, and alone in the back seat of a car. That's what one Spokane woman stumbled upon in a South Hill parking lot. "Complete shock," Windy Delandro said. A frightening sight, Delandro says she saw what looked like a six-month old sitting in her car seat, car turned off, tears streaming down the little girls cheeks. "I looked around to see if I could find anybody, see something, I told my mom 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Picture this, a baby freezing, bawling, and alone in the back seat of a car. That's what one Spokane woman stumbled upon in a South Hill parking lot. "Complete shock," Windy Delandro said. A frightening sight, Delandro says she saw what looked like a six-month old sitting in her car seat, car turned off, tears streaming down the little girls cheeks. "I looked around to see if I could find anybody, see something, I told my mom 

    >>
  • Spokane officials push for bill to reduce property crime and auto thefts in Spokane

    Spokane officials push for bill to reduce property crime and auto thefts in Spokane

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:43 PM EST2018-02-23 01:43:27 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. On Monday, city and county officials traveled to Olympia to push for Senate Bill 5539. Bill 5539, would establish a pilot program for the supervision of those who are convicted of felonies relating to car theft, after being released from prison. Spokane County has the some of highest recorded numbers of property crimes in the country. Spokane comes nearly dead last as one of Washington States least safest cities "If you were to ask any officer working 

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. On Monday, city and county officials traveled to Olympia to push for Senate Bill 5539. Bill 5539, would establish a pilot program for the supervision of those who are convicted of felonies relating to car theft, after being released from prison. Spokane County has the some of highest recorded numbers of property crimes in the country. Spokane comes nearly dead last as one of Washington States least safest cities "If you were to ask any officer working 

    >>
  • Ohio student arrested for viral Facebook “SHS” threat

    Ohio student arrested for viral Facebook “SHS” threat

    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:32 PM EST2018-02-23 04:32:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you have reached out to KHQ, concerned after you saw a Facebook post that went viral on Wednesday, causing concern across the nation. The post was made under the Facebook profile “Ray Andres.” The person behind the post threatened to bring a gun to school and referred to the school as “SHS.” According to WHIO News, the FBI and Clark County Deputies were able to pinpoint the location of where the social 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you have reached out to KHQ, concerned after you saw a Facebook post that went viral on Wednesday, causing concern across the nation. The post was made under the Facebook profile “Ray Andres.” The person behind the post threatened to bring a gun to school and referred to the school as “SHS.” According to WHIO News, the FBI and Clark County Deputies were able to pinpoint the location of where the social 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Pasco Police believe man arrested in Spokane could solve 32-year-old murder case

    Pasco Police believe man arrested in Spokane could solve 32-year-old murder case

    Friday, February 23 2018 2:02 AM EST2018-02-23 07:02:03 GMT
    Photo of victim Robert McDonald from 1986, courtesy Pasco PolicePhoto of victim Robert McDonald from 1986, courtesy Pasco Police

    PASCO, Wash. - A 32-year-old murder case is about to close with an arrest. Pasco Police Detectives have gone to Spokane to interview the suspect, a 50-year-old former Pasco resident, Theodore Milam, about the presence of his DNA at a 1986 murder scene at the Pasco Boat Basin (Schlagel Park). The homicide victim, Robert James McDonald Jr of Richland, was 40 years old on Feb. 25, 1986, when visitors to the park saw a body floating 

    >>

    PASCO, Wash. - A 32-year-old murder case is about to close with an arrest. Pasco Police Detectives have gone to Spokane to interview the suspect, a 50-year-old former Pasco resident, Theodore Milam, about the presence of his DNA at a 1986 murder scene at the Pasco Boat Basin (Schlagel Park). The homicide victim, Robert James McDonald Jr of Richland, was 40 years old on Feb. 25, 1986, when visitors to the park saw a body floating 

    >>
  • Mad Minute stories from Thursday, February 22nd

    Mad Minute stories from Thursday, February 22nd

    Thursday, February 22 2018 4:22 PM EST2018-02-22 21:22:49 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, February 22nd.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Thursday, February 22nd.

    >>
  • Street Crimes Unit snags car thief in Moses Lake surveillance operation

    Street Crimes Unit snags car thief in Moses Lake surveillance operation

    Friday, February 23 2018 1:33 AM EST2018-02-23 06:33:55 GMT
    Moses Lake Police DepartmentMoses Lake Police Department
    Moses Lake Police DepartmentMoses Lake Police Department

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - While on routine patrol Thursday, a Moses Lake Police Officer located a stolen vehicle, parked and unoccupied in the Peninsula area. The stolen vehicle was located with the assistance of the automatic license plate reader mounted on the vehicle, which is capable of checking thousands of vehicles an hour to see if they are stolen. Several of the department's street crimes detectives set up surveillance on the vehicle, and waited for someone to return. 

    >>

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - While on routine patrol Thursday, a Moses Lake Police Officer located a stolen vehicle, parked and unoccupied in the Peninsula area. The stolen vehicle was located with the assistance of the automatic license plate reader mounted on the vehicle, which is capable of checking thousands of vehicles an hour to see if they are stolen. Several of the department's street crimes detectives set up surveillance on the vehicle, and waited for someone to return. 

    >>