Sep 12th
2019

What are we touching?

Written by  Justin Thomas - Media Consultant
What are we touching?

We reached this article through a tactile interface.  Whether this be a smartphone screen, mouse or keyboard we applied our hands, as we have done consistently since humans left the ground as early simians.  Where have our hands been today? How effectively did we wash them? What have they touched? Did we think about that before we put our lunch in our mouths with our hands after touching the keyboard?  This author can show you an extensive assortment of consumer or corporate level computer optimisation options.  However, I do not usually give considerable attention to the keyboard I am typing with or the mouse I am using to move around this document as I type.

(Author reaches for isopropyl alcohol wipes.)

That is the trouble.  You could be, as this user is, the most exact of technical cleaners, but I would imagine that surprisingly few of us think how physically clean our computers are.  I clean my screen because I look at it and can see the dirt; however, I rarely give close inspection to my keyboard and mouse.

“Which?” commissioned an investigation of their own keyboards and other pieces of office technical equipment.  Their results were disturbing. They learned that the average keyboard has more bacteria than the average toilet seat.  Sicknesses from this source goes by the name “QWERTY tummy” taken from the first letters on the keyboard. After the study they removed and quarantined one keyboard, such were the bacteria levels!  What do you think was the worst office item for bacteria? The humble keycard. This can have more bacteria than the average loved pet toy.

When you think about how much consideration we give to cleaning washroom environments and food preparation areas, you wonder why we don’t pay more attention to work station environments.

There are some simple suggestions that could reduce this potential vector for workplace sickness:

  • To clear your desk before going home so that office cleaners can provide a deeper clean
  • By blowing dirt out of your keyboard with compressed air
  • Staff should try to avoid eating at their desks, which has the bonus of stress reduction
  • We can think more about where we put our phones and avoid taking them to the washroom
  • Getting your workplace to add keyboard and mouse cleaning to the cleaner’s rounds using compressed air and isopropyl alcohol cleaning spray

What policy changes can our facilities and HR teams implement to lower this risk?

  • Request all staff unplug mice and keyboards before heading home for the weekend so cleaning teams can clean them
  • Educating staff on the levels of bacteria contained within their technology interfaces
  • By providing technology cleaning stations for people to clean their phones, keycards, laptops, etc. with compressed air, isopropyl alcohol wipes and instructional posters
  • Empowering cleaning teams to use technology cleaning resources

What are the key points for cleaning technology?

  • Turn off all power and unplug from the mains
  • Start cleaning with compressed air for all technology with gaps (i.e. keyboards, mice, laptops, etc.)
  • Move on to isopropyl alcohol wipes paying extra attention to high use areas (space bar, touchpad, mouse buttons, etc.)
  • Allow to dry before plugging back in and powering on

Working on this article has inspired a clean up, and policy review, within our own workplace.  Look through our website for other smart ideas on how to keep your business healthy.

Contact Zenith Washrooms today to discuss your washroom hygiene needs.

Justin Thomas - Media Consultant

Justin Thomas has been involved with Zenith Washroom Solutions (formerly ABC hygiene) since 2009. At first providing ABC hygiene's 2nd web solution then guiding Zenith Washrooms' online presence. This exploits the latest technologies whilst focusing on user experience improvements from the core.

During the past decade Justin has learned a huge amount about the hygiene industry through this work. Now Justin is a contracted media consultant to Zenith Washrooms. This provides a full range of online marketing solutions to Zenith Washrooms. This provides Zenith Washrooms to focus on providing a leading hygiene services solution for their customers.

Justin provides online media presence for a number of small technical businesses based in the UK. Justin lives with his wife and daughter enjoying a wide range of activities. Core being motorcycle maintenance, cooking, music and being a tech geek.

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