Health and Safety News

Occupational health and safety news and guidance

What is your office hygiene saying about you?


Photo shows a carpet cleaner

A clean work environment is vital for your business. It presents a professional image for your company, creates a healthier environment for your staff and boosts morale overall. It’s not enough to simply run a hoover over the carpet and empty the bins every week – if you’re serious about productivity and want to create a better environment, you need to look at the areas you’ve been neglecting.

Problem Area: Desks

You’re no micro-manager, and telling staff keep their desks tidy will guarantee a coup from Creative. What’s a little clutter? Actually, that clutter is harbouring about 400% more bacteria than the average toilet seat.

Your thinking: Everyone works in their own way, I don’t want to be a dictator.

What it actually says: You’re letting your staff descend into chaos and promoting the spread of sickness.

Clean-desk policies might seem a bit Big Brother, and working in a comfortable – not clinical – space is more likely to inspire your employees. That said, make sure your staff are empowered to tidy up when they need to.

Make sure each desk can easily access a bin and a shredder (or at least a confidential waste deposit). Supply organis…

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The curious culture of handwashing around the world


Photo shows handwashing or bathing

In the western world, we take for granted access to soap and the hygiene education responsible for our daily handwashing regime. A combination of globalisation and healthcare are driving the interest in handwashing culture around the world, with encouragement to adopt the western approach, especially in food handling and healthcare.

Regular handwashing with soap is promoted as an effective approach to disease prevention. There’s even a day devoted to it! Global Handwashing Day was set up in 2008 at the annual World Water Week in Stockholm. The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap (PPPHW) established Global Handwashing Day to promote a global and local vision of handwashing with soap. The campaign was initiated to help reduce child mortality rates and related respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases.

Suitably equipped bathrooms and running water are things we in the Western World take for granted. With many of his youthful years spent travelling the continents, author Mike James is all too aware of the varying levels of sanitation and cultural solutions. Working with information available with the Bathroom Discount Centre, he was curious to know more ab…

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Infographic: How to treat and dispose of bed bug infested furniture safely


There aren’t many things worse than having a bed bug infestation in your home or business premises, but if you do, you need to know how to deal with it in the safest way possible. Not just for your own household, but for the local community. One of the main points to consider when it comes to safely treating bed bugs, and to avoid spreading them in the community, is how to dispose of infected furniture. Disposal needs to be the last resort when it comes to infected mattresses and soft furnishings, and it is mainly not necessary.

There are a lot of treatment options and techniques you can use to eradicate these pests before you have to throw away your furniture. Put all removable fabrics in the laundry, and use the hottest heat setting to destroy bed bugs, which are extremely sensitive to heat. Vigilant vacuuming of the mattress is also a must, and always empty the cylinder into a sealed bag to prevent any of them from escaping.

Chemical treatments can be used, but apart from the obvious health and safety risks to people, animals and the environment, they are not so effective. Pests build up resistance to insecticides, and in any case, they do not kill their eggs.


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