woman sneeze in office

Preventing Cold and Flu in the Workplace

Winter is upon us once again and more of humanity is spending time indoors in close quarters with one another. With people in closer proximity, it is easier for both the common cold and influenza to spread via airborne particles or touch. Pollock Orora knows your organization feels the pinch of co-worker absence due to illness and wants to provide you with solid solutions to your workplace environment with our cold and flu essentials. 

Stop the Spread

First, it is imperative to stop the spread of any illness before it spreads within your warehouse or call center. Encourage your co-workers to vaccinate against the most prevalent flu, and if they feel ill, send them home. Co-workers should not return to work until their temperature drops below 100° without the aid of medication. Do not allow co-workers to “muscle through” an illness since both the common cold and the flu are most easily spread during the first 3 days of the introduction of the pathogen into the body. A co-worker with a sick family member at home can still safely come to work but should monitor his or her health and go home if illness strikes.

Sanitize Office Areas

Most people recognize the importance of washing hands after using the restroom, but statistics have proven the average work desk is home to 400 times more bacteria (approximately 10,000,000 bacteria in an area the size of your hand) than a bathroom. In fact, Dr. Charles Gerba has pointed out the most extremely germ-ridden areas in an office are the desk telephone, microwave door handle, water fountain push bar or handle, and the keyboard. Keeping those areas more sanitary takes the proper chemicals and sanitizers, which you can find at Pollock Orora.

To maintain a safe environment, we suggest the following products along with a brief description of their importance.

For your co-workers

  • Soap and soap dispenser – Hand washing became an integral part of life during the pandemic. Knowing the role soap and water play in the ongoing struggle to combat COVID-19, high-quality soap and dispenser systems in every bathroom, kitchen, and break area allow for the sanitary use of soap as part of the hand-washing routine. 
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing stations – When access to a bathroom complete with soap and water is not an option, hand sanitizer is a good substitute either in bottles or as wipes. For best results, place hand sanitizing stations throughout your business’s high-traffic areas, including near the door of restrooms, near the break room or cafeteria, at all exterior doors, and near janitorial areas. 
  • Facial tissue – Ready access to inexpensive facial tissues will allow co-workers to reach for a tissue every time they need one, then quickly toss it away when it is utilized. Be sure to emphasize a follow up with hand sanitizers after touching any part of the face, especially after using a tissue for any bodily fluids. 
  • No-touch waste cans – Knowing many other individuals are touching the surface of a waste can, it pays to invest in a step-on trash can to keep hands away from the surface. 

For the janitorial staff

  • Disinfectant/cleaner – Before disinfecting, a surface must be cleaned. This removes most of the debris and allows the disinfectant to hit all areas of the surface. A combination of disinfectant and cleaner hits both goals simultaneously and is a good fit as long as the surface is relatively clean. 
  • Bleach – With the ability to eradicate a huge amount of pathogens, bleach is essential for cleaning many surfaces. Most bleach can be diluted to 10% for use on kitchen, bathroom, and high-touch surfaces. Another option is disinfecting wipes, which provide a disinfectant on a disposable wipe. Remember, bleach should be treated as a disinfectant and not a cleaner. 
  • Disposable microfiber cloths – To ensure contagions are not carried from room to room as your organization is cleaned, implement disposable microfiber cloths. As the microfiber cloths clean, they remove 99.9% of all microbes to keep your co-workers safe. 

Keeping your co-workers safer during the cold winter months is significantly easier with Pollock Orora’s extensive inventory of products. Give us a call at 800 843-7320 to learn more about how your office can sail through winter with these cold and flu essentials.