Spreading Pathogens: Which Threats You Need To Avoid While At Work

With the recent pandemic causing havoc in most countries around the world, we have become more aware of the importance of good hygiene. Furthermore, we’ve had to consider how we deal with pathogens in general society, for the first time in a long while. Pathogens are typically defined as bacteria, viruses, or any other microorganisms that can cause disease. If one person spreads pathogens when at work, it has the potential to rapidly spread beyond there. With this in mind, here are some threats that you need to be aware of, so you can avoid them at work.

spreading pathogens

Unclean Environment

This category doesn’t necessarily imply that your working environment is intentionally unsanitary, but more to the point of being unaware of the less known ways that pathogens can be transmitted from anyone that comes into your workspace, thereby making it unclean. For instance, no matter how careful we are, are you aware that our footwear doesn’t just bring in dirt and debris from outside, but bacteria as well? Furthermore, viruses, mold, and spores can become airborne for hours after being brought in by people, and this is despite having the floor cleaned with a strong disinfectant. 

Yes, we just mentioned disinfectant being ineffective against microorganisms bought into your workplace by footwear. As they are microscopic, you need to be able to see how effective whatever technique you deploy is effective at stopping microorganisms from thriving in your place of work. This is one way of stopping pathogens from spreading, as healthysole.com has explained. By stopping this from happening, pathogens are prevented from transferring to other places, like desk surfaces, keyboards, or other regularly touched things in your workspace. It means there’s less chance of anyone in your place of employment becoming ill from anything that’s been bought in by footwear.

Airborne Microbes

These can spread from one individual to another, without the need for human contact. So if someone who has contracted a pathogen happens to sneeze as they walk by you, then you may catch it as it transmits from that person to you through the air. You have no way of knowing when this could happen. Additionally, if you happen to be in a crowded workplace, or in a communal area, the risks of catching an airborne microbe would be higher than if you were working alone. 

These airborne microbes can settle anywhere and on anything. What’s more, they can become potentially hazardous for several hours, which could be extremely dangerous if your workplace is open to the public throughout the working week.

One way to avoid the passing of airborne microbes is to wear a facemask recommended by medical professionals. Avoid looking for one that you like the look of, but instead, go for the one that will keep you safe. Follow guidelines from trusted organizations about how to best protect yourself and your colleagues in your workplace because the last thing you want is to be responsible for transferring a pathogen to a colleague at work or a loved one at home.

Bodily Fluids

If there are bodily fluids spilled where you work, the first thing you need to do is ensure the area is cordoned off whilst you get the cleaner or caretaker to clean up and dispose of the bodily fluids. They would have been trained in the correct and safe way to do this, so always try to contact them in the first instance. 

You want to avoid coming into physical contact with the fluid, nor do you want to breathe any of the microbes it can potentially release. This is so you don’t become ill by breathing in anything that could affect your health. Follow company guidelines in respect of health and safety. If you have any concerns regarding your health, seek medical advice immediately. It’s always better to take precautions before they become an emergency. 

You also want to ensure you’ve thoroughly washed your hands after you go to the toilet and before you eat your food. You don’t know the hygiene standards of the people who used the door handle to open any of the doors, pushed any of the buttons on the lift or intercom, or used your keyboard, if only for 10 minutes. If you want to avoid getting potentially ill, then wash your hands thoroughly, for the recommended time.

spreading pathogens

As countries become closer and closer, thanks to the ease of travel, it’s inevitable that diseases and other health conditions will be easier to transmit. This means we all have to play our part in ensuring that hygiene and good health are standard, otherwise, it will penetrate all walks of life, including where we work. Once this happens, then the possibilities of transmission will be of epic proportions, as each employer potentially can pass pathogens onto their families, who could then pass it onto their in-laws and so on. By taking steps now to avoid spreading pathogens at work, it means less infection amongst society,and people can continue to work.

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