Singapore – November 15, 2016 – Initial Hygiene (http://www.initial.com.sg/), a leading hygiene specialist, now offers free Structured Hygiene Surveys (SHS) using advanced Lumitester technology for quick and accurate detection of bacteria build-up and surface contamination, particularly for high traffic areas like office spaces, retail stores, hospitality establishments, and food processing and manufacturing facilities.
Increased illnesses relate to higher absenteeism in the workplace, reducing employee’s efficiency and morale, and it consequently results in productivity loss and disruption costs for employers.
In food processing facilities and hospitality establishments, poor hygiene in food handling causes the spread of foodborne pathogens down the supply chain and into the plates of consumers. According to the Ministry of Health’s Infectious Diseases Statistics, by end October 2016, there are over 1,870 cases of Salmonellosis in Singapore, a spike from 2015’s 1,569 cases during the same period.1 Influenza, on the other hand, is one of the top causes of absenteeism worldwide. Transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, the influenza virus can persist for hours in dried mucus. This attribute increases the risks of direct contamination among retail staffs due to constant exposure to huge influx of customers who may be carrying the virus. Employees working in premises with poor ventilation like warehouses in manufacturing plants are also prone to contracting airborne influenza virus, which are inhaled through respiratory droplets propelled by coughing and sneezing.
Without adequate hygiene provisions in these high traffic areas, both employees and visitors are vulnerable to carriers of harmful bacteria originating from multiple sources, leading to the easy transmission of diseases through cross contamination. Regardless of industry, a common ground where germs and bacteria are prevalent is the washroom, where key risks areas include toilet seats, walls, flush handles, taps, washing basins and doorknobs (please refer to Washroom Contamination Risk Map infographic for more details).
By recognising bacteria hotspots, appropriate preventative measures can be undertaken to eliminate risks of cross contamination and improve overall hygiene standards. Employers can foster a corporate identity entrenched in the wellbeing of employees by providing a safe work environment that encourages greater productivity, performance and lower staff turnover. Based on a research conducted by Initial, 88 percent of Singaporeans agree that comfort is the most important attribute of a washroom. In turn, well-furnished washrooms with proper hygiene solutions can also help businesses strengthen brand image in the minds of prospects and consumers.
With the SHS, employers will receive a full profile of their office with recommendations of tailored hygiene solutions to specific requirements. The survey is conducted with a scientific assessment to determine the efficacy of current hygiene provisions in providing maximum hygiene support for the organisation. Bacteria hotspots are identified from common touchpoints with luminescence swab tests using a Lumitester measuring instrument to determine the bacteria count per square inch (BPSI), with high readings indicating the need for more comprehensive hygiene provisions. Air sampling and humidity checks are also conducted to identify the potential transmission of pathogens via air.
“We engage in intensive research and development, and consumer study to understand and support high traffic areas from various sectors in complying with health and safety standards,” says Ms Junie Yeo, Marketing Director, Indonesia and Singapore. “Cross contamination in the workplace can reduce productivity by increasing medical absenteeism among employees, which can be avoided by adopting reliable washroom services and solutions, enforced with good personal hygiene practices.”
Initial’s Structured Hygiene Survey is validated with scientific research and sector knowledge to recommend the right solution for high traffic areas. For a complimentary survey, registration can be done at http://www.initial.com.sg/free-survey/.