Monthly Archives: November 2016

However sick we are of norovirus, it’s our own careless fault

Depressed exec on bench
Is it worth it? Four days of hell like the end of the world – all from forgetting to wash your hands

Bah, humbug! Food poisoning, that’s what it is. Own careless fault be blowed, it’s those dodgy merchants.

Sure, sure. You’re not wrong about food poisoning. Norovirus pretty well always comes from something we’ve eaten, so can’t fault you there.

Thing is though, how did that food get poisoned in the first place?

Embarrassing reality

Yeah OK, dirt or contamination. You’re not wrong about that  either. But how does the dirt get there?

Tell you what, try a quick comparison. A Tom, Dick or Harriet nine-to-fiver going through a day. And a restaurant chef or kitchen staff member going through the same day – before our Tom, Dick or Harriet sit down to eat at the same place in the evening.

The 9 to 5 day

Start with the alarm at 6.30 (yes, people do get up at that time), hit the loo, wash and polish, cup of instant to get started and gone. The commute is an hour, so it’s newspaper or tablet – depends on whether they’re strap-hanging. The coffee-bar is their kick-start, for a takeaway flat white and Danish – then up in the lift and nosh at their desk while checking out the overnight emails. The rest of the day is computer and meetings, with the odd pop downstairs for a pee-break, and a sarnie from the local greasy spoon. Same drill in the afternoon and they’re done. Meet the other half for a couple of quick ones in the Red Lion and they’re ready. Sitting down and reading menus at just after 8.00.

The “Yes chef” day

More of a shock to the system, our caterer’s day starts at 3.30. Quick shower and black instant – allowing time for fresh produce shopping at New Covent Garden from around 4.30. Ten minutes for a cappuccino and an amaretti, then straight into Smithfield before the main mob arrive, meat-buying all done and dusted before getting to the shop at 8.00. Into the day with scrub-up and prep followed by staff nosh around 10.30, ready for serious head-down for the lunch rush – a whole day of scrubbing, chopping, slicing and dicing, all the time cleaning on the run. A break at 4.00 if all goes good, setting up for the evening and the VIP guest at 8.00.

Now the question in both cases – how many times did anybody wash their hands?

And just to keep things in perspective, here’s the normal behaviour pattern:

Gruesome hygiene facts

Uh, huh. Could just be that a chef or catering staff would have better hygiene habits than that. Dead-cert probability of getting fired otherwise. The slightest risk of food poisoning is the kiss of death – end of business, end of job, end of career. Careless faults are not allowed.

Worked out yet where the norovirus is coming from? Or how the bug got onto the food that got swallowed? Who’s careless fault is that?

The guilty nobody

OK, here’s another scenario. Exactly as before, except our chef is late arriving at the restaurant – buses on diversion because of a demonstration, cops everywhere, nightmare gridlock.

No problem, New Covent Garden deliver before it happens. Nobody there, so the stuff sits on the pavement by the front door. No chance of getting nicked, nobody at work yet. All restaurants do it anyway.

Only this time the underside of the lettuce crate picks up some yuck. And it winds up on the stainless steel table in the veg prep area when all staff flood in at a rush, running late because of the traffic.

It’s just a little hiccup in the hygiene, mind – so the steel table maybe gets less of a wipedown than it should. The clock is ticking and lunch could be late. Not a careless fault, but not forgivable either.

That’s all it takes and norovirus is in, all set to zap anyone ordering a salad. Three days later, disaster strikes – and the phone rings off the hook from irate customers.

OK yeah, it happens. And the careless fault is nobody’s. Or is it?

One finger pointing, three fingers pointing back

But it could just as easily happen the other way – when Tom, Dick or Harriet paw over the menu with their unwashed hands. Norovirus isn’t choosy, anyone taking chances with basic hygiene is fair target.

So who’s careless fault is it? ALL of us for not being watchful. Clean hands are so easy to achieve, yet most of the time we never even think about them.

Worth trying to remember though. Anything to avoid those end-of-the-world cramps and the deadly upchucks. Not to mention the acid runs that dissolve your guts out.

After you with the soap.

Picture Copyright: ljupco / 123RF Stock Photo

How each of your staff already cost you an extra £2,000 a year

Stunned accountant
Paying for germs – costs you don’t see that mount up every day

You read that right. An extra £2,000. £2,088 to be exact.

Money you’re already paying out.

£522 of it in sick costs – actual time taken off work.

And a whopping £1,566 of it in “presenteeism” costs – people feeling ill, but dragging themselves into work anyway.

Sound familiar? We’ve all done it.

Too much work to be done, no-one to back us up. Or worried about still having a job if we don’t pitch.

Nothing but trouble

A major headache. And a major expense that quickly mounts up in winter months, when coughs and sniffles slow everybody down.

Because ordinary sick costs are easy enough to understand. Four days off on average for the UK. Amounting to £522 according to the CIPD – the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development – in their annual survey Absence Management 2016.

Presenteeism though, is a bigger – and more worrying – issue entirely.

The CIPD reckon it costs DOUBLE ordinary sick expenses. An independent survey by Legal & General  puts it higher, at THREE times the cost.

Across the pond, American estimates work on TEN times higher – allowing for stress  and emotional issues.

The money-saving sidestep

Whatever, whatever. £2,000 a head is a lot of money – and a lot of it largely avoidable.

You read that right too.  Avoidable.

Yes, it’s people getting sick but dragging themselves into work at half power. And yes, they make mistakes or forget things because their heads are like boiled knitting.

But these are all costs you can sidestep.

Sidestep by not letting staff get ill in the first place – at least, not in YOUR workplace.

Start by making the sick ones STAY HOME. No point letting them come in and infect everyone else. They’re not up to working anyway, so keep them out of it.

Next, protect the staff who are still on the job. Any one of them could have some kind of bug, maybe still at the incubation stage. Nip it in the bud, and the problem goes away.

Health protection first

Which is why health protection needs to be part of your regular routine.

Because the ordinary cleaning you already pay for doesn’t get rid of germs.

A few pounds extra though, and it can. By misting up the place with hydrogen peroxide and oxidising  all viruses and bacteria to oblivion.

ALL germs in your workplace destroyed with 99.9999% efficiency – a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6. Your whole workplace – sterile, safe and secure.

OK, it won’t save all of that £2,000 you’re already losing – you can’t protect staff OUTSIDE the workplace. But you can claw back a large chunk of it.

No germs in the air, on surfaces, or lurking in hidey-holes. And with a zero germ-threshold, less chance of cross-infection – even though we each of us carry our own germ cloud around with us wherever we go.

Invisible germs, invisible costs

Didn’t realise you were paying all that money?

They’re costs we can’t see, disguised as something else. Or simply accepted as a cost of doing business. If sometimes people don’t perform at their peak, we just have to live with it.

Uh, huh. Crazy to pay for “off-days” when you don’t have to. £2,000 a year is not chicken-feed.

But easily re-captured at the touch of a button – on the Hypersteriliser machine that makes your place safe in as little as 40 minutes.

Time to get some of your own back. Money in the bank you never had before. A major overhead trimmed back to reasonable size.

Presenteeism? Not on your watch. Your well-being package won’t allow it.

Step One is get rid of germs. Step Two is the feelgood.

And you can bankroll a lot on £2,000 a year.

Per person at that. You’re spoiling them.

Picture Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo

Cleaning customers pushing you to add germ control?

Serious business
Companies lose a lot of money when germs strike – sick pay, temp staff, overtime, lost sales, late penalties – you could save them a fortune

It’s in all the papers. Norovirus. E.coli. Colds and flu. Businesses leaking cash with staff taking off. And rules are rules – customers are always right, yeah?

Besides, there’s money in it, if you take the step.

Your customers save on paying out for temps, overtime, lost sales and project over-runs.

You make a bob or two, making it possible for them to save all that dough. Not just germ-proofing their premises, but protecting their profits too.

In fact the money you save them could pay for your service several times over. Everybody wins.

But if you’re going to do it, do it right.

The right tools for the job

Like if you were going to buy a vehicle for hauling heavy goods, you might well start by looking at a Mercedes. Buy the best – it’s the best economy of all. The thing’s always on the job, never lets you down, affordable to run, perfect.

It’s the same with fighting germs.

Buy the Mercedes. The best in the world.

And frankly the best in the world is the American Halo machine – a thing called a Hypersteriliser.

Machine?

You bet. Germs are everywhere and microscopically small. You won’t win against them with bucket and bleach and hand-work.

On surfaces maybe. But how about under and behind things? Inaccessible spaces or cracks and crevices? Or the air itself, which is around 80% of the average room space – full of invisible floating nasties?

Never touched by ordinary cleaning processes are they?

Efficiency, or else

But that’s where you’ve got reach to take down germs effectively. Because if you don’t, those bugs will be back. Which is how all those repeat outbreaks of norovirus keep happening.

Disaster, right? Businesses closed, customers sick and suing, staff off as well, money down the drain.

Because if you don’t clobber EVERYWHERE, the job isn’t done. And that’s why you choose a Hypersteriliser – the high performance, germ-killing follow-up to your regular cleaning procedure.

The thing works by misting up the place with a dry, ultra-fine mist of hydrogen peroxide. Your own body makes the same stuff to fight germs inside you, it’s Nature’s choice.

The mist spreads everywhere, destroying germs by oxidising them. Physically shoving oxygen atoms at them and ripping them apart. Microbes like viruses, bacteria, fungi  and protozoa  have no defence against it. THEY ARE ALL DESTROYED.

You can check this by smell. Stuff stinks because bacteria is eating it up. It either ferments or putrefies. Kill the bacteria and the smell goes.

You can also check by sight. Mould is creeping blackness, living on damp surfaces. It smells too. But oxidising kills it, turning it grey. The smell goes – and the residue can be easily swept off with a brush.

Super performance

OK, so how can you be sure the hydrogen peroxide gets everywhere?

The Hypersteriliser IONISES it, as it leaves the nozzle.

Amazing process this – and it changes the rules completely.

Every tiny particle of hydrogen peroxide now has an electrostatic charge. And like when you play with magnets, because every charge is the same, the particles repel each other. They jostle and push – fighting to get away from each other.

Result – the stuff disperses everywhere. In a POWER SURGE, not like an ordinary spray.

Forcibly shoved hard in all directions until it fetches up against something – a wall, a table, a coils of cables, anything. It presses up hard against that too, still trying to escape itself. Pushing deep into every nook and cranny. Exactly where germs lurk after an ordinary cleaning operation.

Unlucky for them, germs have the opposite charge to the particles of hydrogen peroxide. Like playing with magnets again, the unlike charges attract. The hydrogen peroxide particles actively grab and clamp onto any germs around them. The oxygen atoms attack – and the germs are GONE.

Actually, they never stood a chance. Because in addition to its death clutch, ionising multiplies the hydrogen peroxide’s potency.

It changes its state from a vapour to a plasma, producing even more oxidising germ-killers. Hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet all home in on the germs, destroying EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Safe, secure and GERM-FREE

Well, not quite every one – because it’s impossible to measure down that small. So the boffins and eggheads put it down to just 1 germ cell per million, a 99.9999% kill rate. This is known as a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6 (count the 9s) – and for sure, that room is sterile.

Time taken, around 40 minutes – and the only action necessary is press the start button. Aside from measuring the room first and dialling up the dose, it all happens by itself.

Like we said, buy the best. It performs the best and gives the best economy.

Better still, you can assure your cleaning customers that there’s nary a germ anywhere. So if somebody goes down with an illness after that, they either already had it. Or brought it in with them on their skin or clothing.

As final proof, you can check the test strips put up around the room before you start. A quick BEFORE/AFTER verification that germs are gone at each of the strip sites.

OK, your customers’ workplaces are now free of germs and good to go.

THEY avoid heavy expenses, YOU make income from your extra service.

With performance like that, you should clean up.

Norovirus: how to stop repeat performances

Scared woman
Unless you get serious, norovirus will always be back – again and again

Bad enough the first time. Unexpected, unpleasant, exploding across everybody’s world. Last thing anyone wants is a repeat performance.

But that’s what we’re going to get with regular cleaning procedures.

The place will LOOK clean – even SMELL clean. But that horrible gut-wrenching nightmare will burst out again like nothing was ever done to stop it.

Because that’s what norovirus does.

A very efficient nasty

It’s how it evolved to survive. Deliberately exploding far and wide, spreading it’s noxious particles in all directions to be sure of finding a victim to infect. Or a place to lie in wait for one to come along.

Which means two things.

We have to be super-careful with washing hands and things we touch. It only takes 10 norovirus cells to infect us – collectively smaller than the POINT of a pin. Pick them up from a door handle, or a coin handed to us in change – next thing we chomp a sandwich… That’s how easily it goes.

We have to make sure that ALL traces of a norovirus hit are completely destroyed. OK, so somebody upchucked in the middle of the office carpet – and somebody else didn’t make it to the loo when the runs hit. Aside from the yuck factor, easy enough to clean up.

But less easy to be sure of removing all of it.

Because it’s so violent, tiny particles could wind up on the other side of the room from any vomit patches – 20 or 30 feet away. But who’s going to make sure that’s taken care of, rubbing and scrubbing with stinky bleach? Or will even think to go cleaning so far away?

Not so easily chuffed

OK, zap it with steam.

Iffy, if you think about it. To be sure of killing any germs, it has to be super-hot – and maintain contact for two minutes or more. Not something you can spray around an office full of computers – or anywhere with sensitive electrical equipment.

Not if you want to avoid a sodden mass of papers on every desk either. Besides, moisture is exactly what germs prefer to breed and grow. Repeat performances are almost inevitable.

Only one way to be safe. Ensure whatever treatment is used reaches EVERYWHERE. Norovirus is pernicious – leave any area untreated and it will find a way to hide there. Miss that place, and it will come back – guaranteed.

H2O2 or else

Which leaves only one option – ionised hydrogen peroxide. The same stuff that hospitals use to sterilise surgical instruments. They can’t afford to have a trace of a germ anywhere – neither can you. A repeat performance for your whole department? Disaster all over again – especially in profit figures.

Thing is though, that hospitals use thumping great machines costing a fortune that are often bolted to the floor. Not exactly practical for an ordinary workplace.

Ah yes, but a lightweight Hypersteriliser can get in there easy. And blitz the place sterile in under an hour.

Because ionising is the one way to get TOTAL dispersal. Every microscopic hydrogen peroxide particle is charged electrostatically with the same charge – repelling them from each other in all directions.

Ionising super performance

Not at all like spraying with an aerosol. The stuff is forced out to the limits it can reach, burrowing deep into and under things to try to get away from itself. Wherever norovirus might have gotten into, the hydrogen peroxide particles will shove their way in there as well. By sheer brute force.

It gets better. Because the electrostatic charge of each hydrogen peroxide particle is the opposite to the charge of each norovirus particle. Or any germ for that matter. So instead of repelling, these particles reach out and grab – hanging on like they’re superglued.

Plus the ionising produces a whole stack of other germ-fighters as well. So that hunter-killer pack of hydrogen peroxide also includes hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet. Between them they rip germ cells apart by shoving oxygen atoms at them with NO CHANCE OF SURVIVAL.

And there you have it.

No repeat performances. No more norovirus.

No anything else either.

And if you do it every day, or once a week at the least – fewer staff illnesses, fewer absences, fewer deadline over-runs, more money in the bank.

Job done!

Time to take an axe to unnecessary overheads

Woman with Stop Staff Sickness sign
Add up the cost of staff being off – you’re right, it’s a small fortune

Enough already. No business needs  overheads like staff sickness dragging it down.

Not when most ailments can be avoided.

No staff absences, everybody on full song – why live with such problems?

It’s not a dream either, but doable now.

A major cost expense – gone

Take away all of the germs that lurk in any workplace – and there’s no illnesses for anyone to catch. No viruses, no bacteria, no mould, no nothing – the place is sterilised.

Better still, it’s not difficult. More push-button easy. A simple add-on routine as soon as regular cleaning is done.

One press, once – and a mobile Hypersteriliser machine mists up the place with ionised hydrogen peroxide.  That’s the same stuff your own body makes to fight germs. Released into the air from a mild, non-hazardous 6% solution, the same as you might buy from the chemist.

The ionising does three things.

It makes the stuff disperse everywhere very efficiently. Through the air, hard up against all surfaces, deep into cracks and crevices.

It multiplies the effectiveness of that 6% solution by changing into a plasma, producing a whole slew of MORE antimicrobials – hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet.

Together, these actively reach out and grab at germs as they spread. Locking on to them and tearing them apart by thrusting oxygen atoms at them.

Sterile and safe

40 minutes or so for the average room  and ALL germs are destroyed. That is, 99.9999% of them, down to 1 germ particle in a million – about as small as it’s possible to measure. The room now has a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6.

And that means everywhere, including all the places regular cleaning cannot reach. The place is as safe behind cupboards and under tables, or in coils of computer cables, as it is sitting in the open at the reception desk.

Which means when staff arrive for work in the morning, the place is sterile. It has a zero germ threshold, there are no illnesses around for them to catch.

It doesn’t stay like that of course. Just like your mouth doesn’t stay fresh and clean after toothpaste. All of us bring in germs in a cloud around us – our own personal microbiome, plus a few tag-alongs we might have picked up on the way.

Risk reduced, cost reduced

So yes, it’s still possible that somebody could be carrying a bug and they pass it on to somebody else. But there’s not the same no-restrictions environment though, those germs have got a desert to cross. Cross-contamination is possible, but far less likely.

Which is where chopping unnecessary overheads comes in. With everybody at their desks more of the time, there’s less downtime or interruptive events to  provide for.

Productivity stays up, deadlines get met , everybody stays motivated. Nobody feels miserable, nursing a headache and wishing they were somewhere else.

Least of all you. You’ve just avoided a major issue which collectively costs Britain a whacking £29 billion a year. Lost productivity snatched away because people are not feeling well.

OK, so you know your business, how much does that translate to YOUR bottom line?

A bob or two, right? Possibly the equivalent of a couple of salaries. More, if you get hit in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sod’s Law, right? Always as critical projects get to the tricky bits.

And all of them costs unnecessary to the business. Simply because until now, we all just accepted that people get ill, what can you do?

Not any more.

Welcome to a whole new profitable future.

Plug absentee losses at the touch of a button

Exec pressing button
Hit the button – start seeing savings you’ve never seen before

Sod’s Law, isn’t it? Just when you need them most, your A-Team go absentee.

Flu or something. Maybe a tummy bug.

Whatever it is, it’s always when you’re on deadline and everybody’s burning midnight oil. The once-in-a-lifetime deal that’s so nearly, nearly within your grasp… And then some stupid bug strikes.

Enough is enough

Well not any more, it won’t.

It’s bad enough having one key player go down at a critical moment, but not the lot.

So from here on in, any bug going round the workplace is getting nailed before it takes anyone else down. Your insurance against sickness turning the whole place FUBAR.

Because everybody’s got germs, right? And they all get together with everybody else’s germs in your workplace. Billions and billions of them, milling round, waiting to cause a disaster.

Which means it’s going to happen sooner or later. And Sod’s Law says it will always be when you  really don’t want it to.

Your get out of jail free card

But now you’ve got yourself a button. The one that starts that nifty Hypersteriliser machine. Any germs in your place are about to be ex-germs. The hydrogen peroxide mist that thing generates is going to oxidise them to nothing. No viruses, no bacteria, no problem. Everything back on track.

OK, there’ll be overtime, but that’s expected. Always is, with midnight oil.

But no wage bill for temp staff, or consultancy fees for emergency visiting firemen. No penalty clauses or unforseens either. You’ll get the A-Team back and return to hunky-dory.  Customers happy again, everything under control, your top people all over it and humming like a machine.

Makes you wonder, hey? What took you so long?

Not on the radar, probably. Because living with absentees is par for the course, not so? Everybody has them. Colds, flu – they’re a fact of life.

Oh really?

Sickness myths

Only while staff are picking up germs from each other in the workplace, that is.

Sure, they might get a bug outside – from home, travelling to work, after a dodgy night out.

But you turn them right around the moment they look sick – time off, no questions. And you make that workplace germ-free once a week, or every day before play – and no longer are you the victim of what goes around, comes around.

With a zero germ-threshold most of the time, there are fewer germs, less chance of catching anything, fewer absentees.

So that when you look at the downtime and forfeits you might have had to pay, the thing has earned its keep in the first month of operation. And year end, you’ve got a whole whack of money you never had before. Previously lost to passive acceptance that people get ill, what can you do?

Press the button is what. Give those pesky germs the same dirty treatment they give you. Take them out with extreme prejudice – and laugh all the way to the bank.

Bye-bye, bad guys

Absentees? Not on your watch.

Not unless somebody chops their thumb off on the office guillotine. But that’s an accident, not a germ-driven sickness. Boots Optometrists or Specsavers might be the answer.

They’re press-button too. The ones on your phone. Give them a call.

Sorted.

Picture Copyright: bds / 123RF Stock Photo

Still paying to get rid of norovirus, but it keeps coming back?

Angry woman with computer
Bills, bills and more bills. The only good virus is a dead virus

Face it, there’s only one way to get rid of norovirus.

Be thorough.

It’s a lasting toughie, evolved into spreading itself as far and wide as possible. Every remote crack and crevice. And able to survive on most surfaces for a month or more.

Which means getting rid of it has to reach far and wide as well. Every nook and cranny. Not forgetting it’s a microscopic, lighter-than-smoke virus. It’s floating in the air too.

That far and wide dispersal is why it’s so violent. It wants to reach everywhere.

Know your enemy

Think the cramps are bad? Fine particles of vomit can easily spread 12 feet or more. And the diarrhoea – are you ready for this? There’s 5 billion noroviruses in every gram of faeces.

Which means clearing it up is only the beginning of the job. Removing all trace is a mission.

Yes, bleach will do a pretty good job of killing what’s left in vomit patches. And everywhere else that’s treated with it too. But applying by hand is difficult and lengthy – making it almost impossible to reach everywhere.

The place might look clean – and the bleach smell might be convincing. But this is a microbe that can survive freezing and heating, as well as chemical disinfectants. If there’s any trace left – and even a big bucks manual clean will leave plenty – it’s going to come back.

More money, more money

Not thorough enough – and already it’s cost money.

Bad news if the next try is a steam clean. Aside from shutting the place down to do it, this is a big ticket item. Expectations might be high, but it’s doomed to failure.

That’s because to be effective, it has to be super-hot – and maintain contact for 5 minutes or more. Unlikely while hose-piping around, hitting germ pockets momentarily.

Plus the heat could damage sensitive materials. Not to mention the moisture – exactly the warm, damp conditions that most germs prefer in which to multiply.

So before you know it, the norovirus is back again. More bills, more lost revenue from closures, more victims complaining and talking to their lawyers. The meter is running, and already into thousands.

Pernicious, isn’t it? Which means stop pussy-footing around.

To beat norovirus’s super survival skills and spreadability, any treatment must disperse everywhere to be sure of clobbering it. And destroy it utterly, with no chance of a comeback.

Do it properly or not at all

That leaves only one option.

Ionised hydrogen peroxide.

And that means using the world’s best germ elimination system – a Hypersteriliser. If you really want to get rid of norovirus, it means taking a gun to a knife-fight.

Get rid of, defo.

Like bleach, hydrogen peroxide kills germs by oxidising them, but way more effectively. So a Hypersteriliser generates an ultra-fine mist of hydrogen peroxide – spreading everywhere to grab germs and send them to oblivion. Norovirus included.

Which is where the ionising comes in.

As the stuff leaves the machine, every particle becomes electrostatically charged, changing the state of the hydrogen peroxide from a gaseous vapour into a plasma. This produces a slew of more germ-killing antimicrobials – hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet.

Because each has the same charge, the particles become agitated, shoving each other to get away from themselves. This propels them forcibly away in all directions – through the air and hard up against all surfaces – behind and underneath everywhere, deep into all cracks and crevices.

Exactly where the violently vomited particles of norovirus have spread themselves and hidden away.

Plasma power

It gets better. Because each plasma particle carries the opposite charge to the norovirus ones. They grab and latch on like magnets – and attack by shoving oxygen atoms that rip the viruses apart.

Which explains why it’s the world’s best room sterilising system – and why it can get rid of norovirus for sure. Dispersal is everywhere – and destruction is total.

All viruses and bacteria are destroyed to 99.9999% – that’s down to just 1 in a million – a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6. In just 40 minutes, depending on room size, the place is sterile. No germs, no norovirus, no more expense – job done.

And all without fuss or bother or anything. Just wheel the machine in, hit a button and let things happen. Way more cost-effective than anything else – for way less effort.

Because cheap is expensive. And cutting corners never works.  Not for all the bleach jobs, deep cleans or steam treatments in the world.

If you want to get rid of norovirus, you’ve got to do it properly.

Be thorough.

Does the money spent on your wellness plan stop people getting sick?

Accountant eyeing money
A little bit of money on hygiene, to protect the millions you could lose through staff illnesses

Wellness plans are all very well, but do they actually deliver?

Sure it’s good to promote a healthy lifestyle and push people in that direction .

And yes, paying for gym membership and providing inspirational décor works wonders for motivation and building feelgood confidence.

But which part of your “wellness” package can shield staff from norovirus?

Money at risk, without protection

A company flu jab won’t exactly crack it. It won’t stack up much against e.coli, salmonella, clostridium difficile, campylobacter, the superbug MRSA or cold and flu viruses either.

Yet any one of these could take down key staff without warning. Out of the loop, out of action, out of circulation altogether.

A vacuum you might scramble to fill. Colleagues doubling up, temp staff struggling with unfamiliar duties, lost momentum on priority projects, deadlines missed, deals dropped, revenue severely down.

All on top of sick pay of course.

Because you’re still on the hook for salary, even though they’re not productive. A big hole in income-earning that can happen any time. Because that’s what they’re doing for you, isn’t it? In one way or another, their job is making money for you.

A stupid germ stops them working, that doesn’t happen.

Not just to a solo staff member either. The wrong germ at the wrong time could take a whole team down. Which means any wellness plan without health protection could cost millions.

Guarding against losses

Sure, sure, most wellness programmes claim to reduce health CARE costs. Putting everyone through health checks. Directing them at meds and treatment meant to keep them healthy.

Not many mention anything about avoiding germs in the workplace though. Or about ensuring a safe, non-hazardous, illness-free environment.

Even authoritative health care sources tend to skate around the issue. One of them openly acknowledges the fact. “Employers know they can’t prevent their employees from being in accidents or getting colds…” it says. Is that maybe an excuse for not trying?

No matter how wonderful they are, workplaces are known havens for germs. Inevitable with a lot of people working together all in the same place. Many times, research has shown that the average office desk might have as many as 10 million germs.

Yet how many wellness programmes promote basic protective hygiene?

At your fingertips

First, by keeping hands washed clean. Second, by providing antiseptic wipes to at least clean active surfaces on desks. A secondary backup  to maintaining hand hygiene.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty germs lurking on other parts of all those desks. Down the back, along the sides next to the wall, and among all the cabling for everyone’s computer. Wiping that lot down properly could take a morning’s work.

But it’s not as sexy as a half-hour session on the treadmill. And since when did rub and scrub equate with “wellness”?

Actually, since forever ago. Or at least since Joseph Lister first introduced principles of cleanliness to surgical procedures back in the 1800s.  Back when the realisation hit, that dirty equals dangerous.

And the flip-side, that sterile means safe.

Hygienic or else

Which begs the question. What does your wellness programme do about making your workplace sterile?

Respectfully, daylight emulation lighting, feng shui colour schemes, gym membership and fresh fruit in reception add up to nothing if staff can’t perform because they’re sick.

Not when you’re up against thug bacteria like e. coli. Far worse than norovirus, it too causes severe cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. But this time with increased risk of hemolytic uremic syndrome – damage to kidneys that could lead to needing dialysis, blood transfusions – and death if it goes wrong.

And the causes of e. coli? Contaminated food or drink, often from human faecal matter. No surprise there, since 62% of men and 40% of women NEVER wash their hands after going to the loo.

On top of which, only 12% of people wash their hands before eating.

And worse, 95% of people don’t even wash their hands properly.

Which sort of says, push the hand hygiene issue – even with hand wipes – and you could also reduce staff sickness by 95%.

Thousands and millions

A big difference to absenteeism costs, temp staffing, lost initiatives and other inevitable expenses – however many thousands, or millions, that is.

Better still, for a fraction of the cost of all this revenue loss and downtime, it’s possible to get rid of e.coli, norovirus and all the others, right down to nothing.

More effective than aerobic exercises, it’s a procedure that involves misting up the place with hydrogen peroxide. IONISED hydrogen peroxide. Electrostatically charged to disperse in all directions – under and behind things, deep into cracks and crevices – to destroy ALL bacteria and viruses by oxidising them.

Forty minutes later, the room or whatever space you’re treating is sterile. No germs, no anything – in the air, on surfaces, on cables, in nooks and crannies, anywhere. No germs for people to catch, no illnesses to succumb to.

Keep fit, or keep healthy?

The only germs present are those that people unavoidably bring in themselves. But no longer adding to the ambient germs already there, because there aren’t any. Less chance for anybody to come down with anything. Your money is safer than it would be bankrolling a treadmill.

Not to say that all wellness programmes are inadequate of course. But some of them do seem to have lost their way. “Wellness” implies protecting health, which is exactly what focusing on higher level hygiene does.

Which makes it an insurance policy if you like. Not just for your staff, but to secure the millions of pounds you have yet to make from being nobbled by unforseens.

Money well spent.

Picture Copyright: rrraum / 123RF Stock Photo and cepera / 123RF Stock Photo

What! Losing business to a germ? Can you really afford to let that happen?

Amazed accountant
Start adding the figures and you’re in for a shock – all from one little germ

It happens, and you know it. Always at the worst time. Somebody goes down with a bug, their whole department follows – and suddenly you’re losing business hand over fist.

So what’s it going to cost? Thousands? Millions? How many tight-deadline jobs have you got riding on that team? And how about the penalty clauses?

Yeah, well – you bite the bullet because you have to. Fact of life, right? People get sick, it’s that time of year, you were just unlucky.

Getting sick is NOT the norm

Actually, no. A lot of the time it’s preventable.

And you’re not unlucky, just in the dark about how to prevent sickness most of the time. Unaware you could save thousands, avoiding sick pay and enforced downtime costs – simply by deploying the right health protection.

Makes you mad though, doesn’t it? Mad and helpless.

How can you let one tiny microbe – so small you can’t even see it – cause an on-the-ball, successful organisation like yours into a tight financial squeeze, when you should be raking in the pounds?

Well the good news is, you’re not entirely helpless.

You can’t stop a sickness that somebody brings in from outside.  But you CAN minimise its effect – and reduce the chances of staff cross-infecting each other.

Sterilise and save

All it needs is to sterilise your place so no germs can survive. Generate a zero threshold so that staff walk in tomorrow morning to a GERM-FREE environment. No viruses, no bacteria, no mould, no fungi – right throughout their workplace. No more losing business either

It’s easily done too. And quick.

Wheel in a Hypersteriliser and you’re looking at around 40 minutes  to make the average room safe and secure.

It works by misting up the place with a mild, 6% preparation of hydrogen peroxide, the same germ-fighter our own bodies produce, but ionised to boost performance.

The ionising does three things:

  • Causes the stuff to disperse rapidly in all directions. Electrostatically charged so it tries to get away from itself. Spreading right throughout the empty air in the room. Fetching hard up against all surfaces, behind and underneath them. Penetrating deep into cracks.
  • Makes the stuff work like a magnet against germs. Its static charge reaching out to grab oppositely charged viruses and bacteria, clutching them in a vice grip.
  • Triggers the release of other antimicrobials in addition to hydrogen peroxide. Hydroxyl radicals, oxygen species, nitrogen species, ozone and ultraviolet – every one an efficient germ-killer.

The killing is done by oxygen. Storming atoms of it released on contact that rip apart germ cells and send them to oblivion. All that’s left is oxygen and water, in such small quantities it evaporates before it touches anything.

Germs down, margins up

The result?

99,9999% of ALL germs destroyed. A Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6. Your workplace is a desert – devoid of germs, pathogens, bugs or whatever you like to call them.

Of course when your staff breeze in next morning with their flat whites and Danishes, they’ll bring all their usual germs with them. Because each of us has our own germ cloud in tow all the time. And yes, one of them could transfer some germs to others.

Except that happens all the time, especially on the bus or tube on the way to work. And our immune systems just take it in their stride. Same old, same old, everyday stuff. No problem.

And in the zero threshold of your newly sterile workplace, any incoming germs have to work from scratch to repopulate the place – not add to the teeming billions still there from the last several days. Who’s losing business to sickness now?

But what if…

Yeah, OK. So your top sales performer comes back from Dubai with a first class case of MERS. If you haven’t packed her off to bed for a few days quarantine, there’s still less chance for her germs to spread because the threshold is low.

And any lingering possibilities will be zapped by the nightly mist-up anyway. Back to zero in the morning – less exposure, less risk. Still less chance of losing business.

Sure people get sick for all kinds of reasons. You’ve just never thought about it before. Or about the money you’re losing without thinking about it either.

But now people don’t need to get sick. Not on your watch. And not in your workplace.

Not when you can chop a whole load of costs to nothing by protecting their health.

Picture Copyright: Elnur / 123RF Stock Photo

How good is your protection for your greatest business assets?

Sick woman exec
Prevent, not cure – taking medicine means you’ve already lost a stack of money

By business assets we mean people, right? Earning power. Protecting company income.

Sure, sure, all of those things. And yes, you have a plan.

At least, OK, you’ve got insurance. Not really protection though, is it? More like disaster recovery. Makegood payout AFTER things go wrong. Nothing to reverse your calmity – or prevent it happening in the first place.

After the event

Because the damage is already done, isn’t it? Whatever happened – lost business, unforseen write-offs – it’s never coming back. Whatever opportunity or advantage you had is gone and all you have is money.

The real work is in starting all over again. Re-energising, finding momentum, renewing contacts or finding new ones. The whole business of rebuilding from scratch.

Big bucks, big effort. Daunting enough to make you pack it in and go home.

You might be sitting on a pile of money, but you need a whole lot more to re-invest in the future. More risk, more worry, more sleepless nights.

And all entirely preventable.

Avoiding sickness saves money

Staff, customers – keep people hunky-dory and everything should be fine. Properly motivated, feeling committed, wanting to get on and do things.

All of which are probably objectives high on your list of people priorities. But none of them achievable if they’re not feeling so good.

When people get sick, they’re not on song.

At best they’re irritable, grumpy and short on attention. Down in productivity maybe 50% or more. Which means you’re paying double to get your usual results out of them.

Add the headache that makes them ignore stuff, and reluctance to apply real effort – they might as well not be there at all. Send them home, you’re already paying for them to do nothing anyway.

On top of which, they could be infecting everyone around them. So suddenly you’re a whole team down – not producing, not moving things forward, not maintaining relationships that are the life-blood of any business.

Germs are super-expensive

OK, and what if it’s something more than the sniffles, or a tummy twinge? Flu or norovirus are the usual trouble-makers – and both can do big damage to your balance sheet.

Norovirus particularly, is a big money loser. Sudden, violent and super-potent, it’s developed itself to spread as far and wide as possible – ensuring as many victims as possible can get it.

Without warning, one of your staff gets up with a howl and runs for the loo. They don’t make it and upchuck all over the floor. Pick themselves up and run again, stuff squirting through their clothing.

Gruesome yes, but dangeous too. The whole place is highly contagious. Other staff members WILL succumb going anywhere near it – and normal cleaning procedures are useless at getting rid of it.

Until it’s entirely destroyed, it’s a health hazard that can last up to a month or more. And it doesn’t just spread on contact. Every molecule is lighter than air – and it only takes 10 of them, microscopically smaller than a pinpoint, to infect someone.

A fortune for you, big money world-wide

£44 billion – that’s the LOST PRODUCTIVITY bill for norovirus worldwide every year. But nobody even calculates the LOST REVENUE cost, it’s too astronomically high.

So ask yourself, how much money are you going to lose with a norovirus outbreak in your place?

And how are you going to stop it coming back – over and over again, which it does, pretty well every time? And that’s despite steam cleaning, scrubbing with bleach till everyone’s head spins and even SHUTTING THE PLACE DOWN for a month or more.

Can’t afford it, huh? Who can?

Well you don’t have to.

Because now, you have it within your power to eradicate germs completely. No viruses, no bacteria, no moulds, no fungi – to provide a completely safe and sterile environment.

How to save thousands

If there’s no germs, nobody can catch anything. Nobody gets sick, your investment in people is protected – safe and secure BEFORE anything happens.

Somebody can of course, bring in an illness they’ve picked up from outside. In fact ALL of us trail germ clouds around with us. And since we’re not all immune to the same things in the same way, sterilising the place becomes a regular maintenance event – not a one-off you-pays-your-money-now-hop-it situation.

How’s it done?

It couldn’t be easier – which might make you wish you’d thought of protecting your people assets -and their carefully chosen income-generating skills – yonks ago.

All it takes is to mist up the place with ionised hydrogen peroxide at the end of the day when all of your assets have gone down in the lift and home. The machine that does it is a Hypersteriliser – and the time taken is around 40 minutes depending on room size.

What happens is the ionised mist spreads everywhere through the room, filling the air and penetrating deep into cracks. As it does so, it electrostically grabs at viruses and bacteria wherever they are and oxidises them. Oxygen atoms rip through their cell walls and they are gone, baby – a one-way ticket to oblivion. All of them to 99.9999% – a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6.

Recover costs, feel better

Now stack that up against the thousands you could already be paying for absenteeism and diminished performance costs – probably even without realising it – and just possibly it becomes a facility you cannot do without.

Crazy, isn’t it? We all accept getting sick as a fact of life, without really ever doing anything about it. But once you realise that it’s assets you’re protecting – and your most valuable ones at that – it seems more like an essential.

One thing’s for sure. Once you get your head round this, the penny quickly drops that your most expensive option is to do nothing.

And what business couldn’t do with a few extra thousand swelling the balance sheet?

Picture Copyright: whiteboxmedia / 123RF Stock Photo