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Hygiene hosts – counteracting invisible dirt

We have been aware of and removed dirt, stains and dust in the workplace for a long time. But what about invisible dirt?

Door handles, keyboards, coffee machines, light switches, arm rests and railings are all covered in bacteria and can spread infection through invisible dirt.

“We all have a lot of bacteria on our hands, even if many are beneficial. But where there are good bacteria, there are also bad bacteria, and statistics show that most infections are spread through our hands,” Jens Engström, Head of Center of Excellence Cleaning at Coor explains.

Even if the pandemic has led many people to change their view of the importance of hand hygiene, it is not enough. According to a survey carried out in Sweden in 2020, 39 percent of Swedes have changed how they wash their hands, 49 percent wash their hands more often and 79 percent wash their hands primarily to protect themselves from infection risk.

“Although it is obviously positive that awareness is increasing , we have still not reached 100 percent. Some people do not wash their hands properly after visiting the toilet or fail to clean all parts of the hand – and that is when you share bacteria,” Jens explains.

In most cases, workplaces are cleaned in the morning or at night to avoid disturbing people while they work. But the fact is that it is at midday, during the lunch rush, that infection spreads the most.  

“During lunch, a lot of people are moving about, the number of visits to the toilet increases sharply and people behave differently. That is when infection starts to spread more,” Jens explains.

This has led Coor to develop a new service known as hygiene hosts. These hygiene hosts disinfect all critical surfaces with environmentally friendly disinfectants during the daytime – mainly before, during and after lunch.

“This service has evolved out of the pandemic, but is continuously being developed according to companies’ varying needs and flows of people moving through the premises. In addition to disinfecting surfaces, hygiene hosts also carry out a number of other tasks such as removing litter, putting furniture back in place, looking over conference rooms etc. This means that they also contribute to improving wellbeing in the workplace, as well as reducing the risk of infection,” Jens explains.

Why do you think companies should buy this service?

“In order to optimize safety in the workplace for their employees. It will also prevent other illnesses such as seasonal flu, vomiting viruses and other colds, which means that your team will feel better and stay healthier.” 

Jens says that he expects this to become a standard service in the future.

“Even if we will eventually get to a place where the pandemic is nothing but a distant memory, people will remain sensitive to invisible dirt going forward. This has gone on for so long that it has changed our behavior significantly. Invisible dirt used to be a non-issue, that is no longer the case,” he concludes.