#stayhealthy

… in the workplace

A corporate strategy going under the somewhat unwieldy name “Health Promotion at Work”, focusing on employee health, is finding its way into more and more companies.

The aim is to prevent illness at work, improve employees well-being and maintain staff health in the long term. After all, a company’s financial performance depends largely on qualified, motivated and healthy employees.

Many factors affect people’s health - even in their work environment. This website focuses on classic microbiological pathogens; often these can be easily eliminated by the systematic application of suitable hygiene measures. After all we should never forget that bacteria and viruses are lurking everywhere.

But, if you know about their transmission pathways, you can protect yourself effectively.

#STAYHEALTHY IN WINTER –
AND ALL YEAR ROUND

  • Pay attention to proper hand hygiene. Sanitise hands regularly, especially following contact with anyone who is ill or with potentially contaminated surfaces; always wash hands thoroughly before eating and after using the toilet.
  • Pay attention to surfaces as well. Regularly disinfect germ traps – such as keyboards, telephones, door handles, coffee machines, taps etc.
  • Handle food hygienically. Wash kitchen areas, refrigerators and shared kitchen utensils carefully and, if necessary, disinfect them. Do not eat at your desk if possible.
  • Make sure there is fresh air in the office. Air is often dry and causes mucous membranes to dry out and become more vulnerable to infection. Let fresh air in at least three or four times a day, for ten minutes at a time, to improve the atmosphere in the room.

PATHOGENS AND THEIR TRANSMISSION PATHWAYS

Transmission pathway

Pathogen transmission

Examples

Airborne infection

Through droplets (aerosols) by sneezing, coughing or speaking.

The particles can float in the air for hours and infect other people if they inhale them.

  • Seasonal influenza (influenza virus)
  • COVID-19 (corona virus)
  • Rhinitis/common cold (e.g. rhino virus)

Direct contact infection, indirect contact infection

Direct contact: from person to person through physical contact or touching (via hands)

Indirect contact: via contaminated surfaces and objects (such as toilet seats, door handles, touch screens, light switches, etc.)

  • Diseases causing diarrhea (including noro and rota virus)
  • Conjunctivitis (including staphylococci or adeno virus)
  • Cold sores (herpes virus)
  • Potentially also influenza or a cold, such as when sneezing into the hand or when droplets settle on surfaces