In recent years there has been a steep increase in the number of building operators offering ‘rent a desk’ or shared office working facilities. These trends build on the traditional system of one floor, one company occupancy, but what links these evolving styles of use in commercial space is the communal areas that continue to be shared between companies, individuals and visitors. Desks, chairs and office equipment are now added to the traditional list of lifts, washrooms, kitchens and reception areas which people use communally. A study of ‘Germs in the workplace’ found that a typical office workers hands encountered 10 million bacteria a day, this can be a frightening prospect for anyone going about their day job.
The health and well-being of a building’s occupants should be of equal importance to both the building operator and employer, as absenteeism from unwell and unhappy staff impacts on productivity and revenue. A serious case of “sick building syndrome” caused by a surface spread infection leading to illness can cause significant double-digit percentages of absenteeism in a single office block. Whilst daily cleaning regimes ensure that visual dirt and dust are removed from surfaces and the use of anti-bac cleaners at the recommended strengths can remove bacteria at that moment in time, they quickly cease to be effective against bacteria that are transferred from the very next hand-surface contact. Furthermore, and in crucial reality alongside other biocides, traditional anti-bac cleaners are increasingly ineffective, as their misuse has led to microbial resistance and mutation. In turn this creates the perpetual vicious cycle of increasingly resistant harmful bacteria inhabiting work surfaces and being transferred to hands.
Liquid Guard® from Signo Nanocare UK Ltd is a newly launched and revolutionary yearlong, transparent, antimicrobial surface protection which physically (rather than chemically) kills bacteria on contact, providing building operators, facilities managers and office workers with a way of eliminating the transfer of hand-surface-hand bacteria, all day, every day.
Typically and logically, toilets and washrooms are a main focus for thorough and regular cleaning. However, several office-based studies have shown that the average computer keyboard is home to 7,500 bacteria per swab; headphones/hand-sets 2,550 and handbags 2,520. Supporting these numbers is research carried out by Which? Magazine of its own office technology which revealed that a keyboard harboured more bacteria than the toilet seat!
Microbial growth on keyboards will essentially mirror the very same pattern of growth within the users nose and intestinal tract. Consequently, if someone in the office has gastroenteritis and has used a desk, keyboard or headset there is a strong chance it will be passed on to the next user of the equipment. On considering that an only an estimated 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using the toilet, it’s easy to see how everyday infections such as E.coli and C.difficile are transferred rapidly in communal office spaces.
Liquid Guard presents a unique combination of nano-scale coating technology and new generation anti-bac science which delivers an anti-microbial coating that will permanently bond to any non-absorbent surface including desks, keyboards, touch-screens – along with washroom surfaces and door handles. The anti-bac ingredient within the coating physically kills any bacteria that make contact – 24/7 – 365 days a year – on the surfaces that matter most. By forming an ultra-thin glass-like layer, Liquid Guard also protects against micro scratches and facilitates easier everyday cleaning. The removal of dust and dirt can continue routinely with a damp cloth method, with no need to continue use of any other anti-bac cleaners – thus reducing the buildings biocide footprint.
Essentially Liquid Guard protects employees, hot desker’s and visitors from the day to day transfer of bacteria from hand-surface-hand contact on communal surfaces, elevator buttons, conference rooms – and more importantly those who wash their hands after using the toilet from those who don’t!