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

Originally posted 2016-11-17 15:41:42.

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.

Originally posted 2016-11-16 15:24:07.

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

Originally posted 2016-11-15 15:37:32.

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

Originally posted 2016-11-11 14:40:08.

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

Originally posted 2016-11-10 15:04:25.

Cramps, upchucks, squitters – the cost of being careless

5 girls with tummyache
You know that you wash YOUR hands – but what if other people don’t?

Careless? Not you.

You never take chances, always wash your hands thoroughly, make sure everything you touch is spic and span.

So if ever the misery of norovirus hits, you know it isn’t you.

Trouble is though, it’s not necessarily you that’s careless.

Other people can make you sick too. THEIR carelessness, not yours.

For instance, you always wash your hands – keep them clean at all times.

The things you touch

But you handle money, don’t you?

All of us do. You need coins for pay-and-display parking, the newsagent only accepts cash, and the till in the coffee shop doesn’t work on contactless.

And money NEVER GETS WASHED, does it?

Despite that,  80 PER CENT of people never wash their hands after handling it. And the average £1 coin has more germs on it than a toilet seat.

There are plenty of other high-touch things that never get washed too. Still thinking cash, how about the keypad of your nearest ATM? About the only time it might get cleaned is if it rains. Which is why, like the money you take out of it, it too is covered in germs like a toilet seat.

OK, now walk yourself through the average day. How many high-touch areas do you touch without even thinking, and maybe forget about your hands?

Sure, you’re disciplined about always before food and after the loo. But do you realise how many times we touch our faces in between? Believe it or not, two or three thousand times a day is about average.

Some things are never washed

Uh huh. So germs might get in, no matter how meticulous your are. Because of all the things you touch that you don’t realise never get cleaned.

Like any keypad. On your phone, on your computer, the cashpoint in any shop, lift buttons, security locks, you name it. And even if somebody did come along with a damp rag, the thing would probably stop working because water got in.

Then there’s supermarket trolleys. Never cleaned from one day to the next , the problem is such an issue that stores in the US have started deliberately offering sanitising wipes – or even putting trolleys through a machine that mists them with germ-killing peroxide.

Supermarket conveyers are another high-touch, out-of-mind source of germs we take for granted. So are the actual shelves of produce themselves. Watch next time you’re shopping, and see how people feel fruit and vegetables for ripeness and freshness. You’ve washed your hands, but have they?

Secondary touching

And it’s other people’s collective carelessness that could put you in danger, no matter how careful you are. On top of which, food poisoning nasties like norovirus take three or four days to assert themselves, so you have no idea what you might have touched or swallowed in that time.

It might even be from “secondary touching”. You pack your shopping into bags and take them out to the car. Getting your key is a fumble, so you put the bags on the ground to fish it out. Then you put your bags in the boot.

Uh huh, again. What might now be on the underside of those bags? Or lurking on the floor of the boot, transferred from the last time you did it? And when you unpack those bags on your kitchen countertop, do you always remember to wipe down with disinfectant as you do it?

Only this week a TV programme revealed how easy it is for fresh vegetables covered in germs to find their way into your fridge, simply by being packed loose in home delivery crates. And again, you’re meticulous about washing your hands, but who else is?

The answer is not very encouraging.

The “Ew” factor

All of which means you have to assume that everything is a germ hazard before you even touch it. But you can’t clean everything every moment of the day. You have a life – and who can afford to sacrifice that amount of time?

Ah, but what you can do is eliminate germs on ALL surfaces and throughout the air before anyone else gets to them. After the day is over and people are gone, a  nifty machine called a Hypersteriliser can mist up your workplace with ionised hydrogen peroxide, oxidising all bacteria and viruses down to zero.

Now if we can just persuade supermarkets, shops, restaurants, schools and other public places to do the same thing – at least all of us will be safe from high-touch surfaces, even if we are lax with washing our own hands.

(Sigh!) It’ll take a while though, before we get to that stage.

In the meantime, best to be as careful as we can and on our guard. It’s not just norovirus we have to look out for, there’s lethal nasties out there as well.

Already there are signs that the Ebola crisis could be ready to flare up again. Or some other world epidemic we’re nowhere near ready for.

Let’s be careful out there.

Picture Copyright: gpointstudio / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-11-04 14:56:37.

Watch out! Your car could be killing you!

Woman slumped at wheel
There’s more dangers lurking IN our cars than we ever think

It can happen any time, or any place.  You’re just sitting in your car, parked up and going nowhere,  then foops – you’re on your way to being a goner.

No, no, not an accident. Though you never intended this to occur.

You’re just sitting there, engine off and handbrake on, maybe waiting at the school gate.

Unwanted passengers

But you’re not alone.

You can’t see them, but there’s upwards of 300 million germs sharing the car with you. And while you’re waiting, chatting on the phone and nibbling an indulgent pastry, you just happen to swallow a few hundred in.

You don’t feel it at the time of course. There’s no trace of anything wrong anyway. You keep the car spotless, down to the car wash every week. And those cheery folk do a full valet service – get rid of any rubbish, vacuum everything carefully. How in the world can you catch a bug?

All too easy, though you’d never know it.

Because a car is one of those places that easily LOOK clean when they’re anything but.

OK, so it’s you and the kids on the school run, taking the dog to the park, a couple of long hauls to visit the in-laws, where’s the danger in that?

Crumbs, germs, crikey!

Eating and drinking is what. And we all do it, without even realising.

Obviously not while driving. Though everyone is. A quick munch on the way home, a bottle of juice on a hot summer day – those little ones can be so demanding.

Which means crumbs on the seats and the odd spill – nothing that a quick wipe can’t fix, right?

Wrong.

However thoroughly you wipe, you never get everything. And stuff fragments as you try, breaking apart and falling down the sides. Into the “ungetatable” space between the seats and the floor sides.

And it’s usually food, right? So it breaks down and rots. Little bits here and there – nothing you’ll ever pick up unless you have a sensitive nose.

Bugs, bugs, bugs

Bacteria, right there – usually escherichia coli. Harmless to most of us, even though it lives naturally in our gut. Except there’s more than one strain of the thing, many of them pathogenic – medic-speak for saying they’re dangerous.

Like strain O157:H7, which can cause anaemia, kidney failure or even death. Plus, get ANY strain of e.coli in the wrong place – like in your bloodstream – and you’re in big trouble.

But e.coli is not the only one by a long shot. Salmonella and campylobacter are also regular passengers, both of which can cause illnesses, sometimes fatal. And both can survive for up a month inside your car, lurking on the steering wheel, gear stick, or dashboard.

And pretty well all cars regularly carry common bacteria, such as staphylococcus epidermidis, staphylococcus aureus and micrococcus luteus.

Mould and fungi too

Nor is bacteria the only hazard. Comes the wet weather with kids and dogs leaping in and out of the car dripping wet – next thing you’ve got mould. And mould leads to allergies, asthma and eczema.  Or in severe cases, like actress Brittany Murphy, fatal pneumonia.

OK, so basically germ-infested, right? And if you don’t believe us, check out this video here.

Recognise yourself?

So what can you do about it? Wiping down is not good enough. Nor is going berserk with the vacuum cleaner. You’ve got to get down and dirty in those teensy inaccessible gaps behind the seats and under the carpets.

And with way more firepower than bleach.

“Bacteria bomb”

Time to get yourself a “bacteria bomb” if you haven’t already. Not the ordinary can, but the half-sized 4oz job you can keep in your hand bag.

Capped 4 oz can
Self protection on the go – like MACE for germs

Yeah, OK, at around £12 a pop, it’s not cheap. But do you want to get rid of the germs or don’t you? And what does a whole valet service cost you? £50? £80? Right there in your bag is just the thing to fog up your entire car and take out the germs. Psst! 60 seconds and you’re done.

Just make sure you open all the windows and let the stuff out when it’s finished. It fills your car up like a smoke bomb but is way fresher, sort of lemony afterwards.

Oh, and that’s not the only reason to open up your car. Like with all these climate change non-winters we’ve been having, high temperatures bake your car full of breathable toxins too. Like benzene from the plastic of the dash and interior trim. Check out this video here.

Every week, like the car wash

Plus remember, if you want to stay safe and germ-free, you’ve got to keep at it too. Just like cleaning your teeth only lasts until your next meal, so treating your car needs regular attention too. The next Coke spill or upended packet of chips and you’re back where you started.

Think of it though as another way to keep you safe in your car. Like a crash helmet or a seat belt. Essential, huh?

Picture Copyright: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-10-24 14:08:26.

How keeping up with fashion could save your life

Girl looking at handbag
Not so good-looking when your personal go-everywhere companion is full of germs

Start with your handbag. How much more fashion does it get?

The latest from Prada or Hermes could set you back a fortune – and they only last a season. After that, they’re last year. Or last century. Gotta keep up.

Of course not all of us can stretch to a designer original.

But there’s still plenty reason to splash out on the latest, particularly your bag. And the best excuse ever.

Germs.

Well think about it. You carry it with you everywhere, you’ve got your whole life in there. But how often do you you clean it? REALLY clean it, that is – making sure the whole thing is safe and disinfected?

Far from soap and water

Because you do it with your hands don’t you? Wash before eating and after the loo, the hygiene part of keeping neat and presentable.

Meanwhile your bag goes through everything with you – trusty, reliable, always to hand. But pretty well every day without a bath. Plenty of opportunity for germs to get in there – and they do.

Only last week an independent laboratory report turned up a whole host of possible life-threatening bacteria in bags only a few months old. Nearly all of them were positive for serratia, enterobacter, aeromonas, staphylococcus epidermidis. pediococcus, hafnia and proteus.

Or worse, alive with potential threats leading to pneumonia, urinary tract infections, septicaemia, meningitis, diarrhoea, and soft tissue disorders. Exactly the fashion items nobody wants.

Oh sure, sure – you can try cleaning your bag. Climbing in with antibacterial wipes or whatever. Not likely to be effective because they don’t have the firepower. Not potent enough, not enough contact time. Most likely of all, unable get into every little fold and corner.

And you’re not likely to try anything too strong are you? It might stain or attack the lining – or make the whole thing smell of bleach. Impossible, right?

Saved by fashion

Time to go shopping – and treat yourself to a new one. Right in fashion and bang up to date. As if you could hold back your enthusiasm!

But think further and it’s not just handbags. There’s a whole slew of other fashion items to justify your indulgence too. Good, clean, hygienic reasons to replace what you have, because sterilising them is too hazardous or too difficult.

Washable clothes, for instance. Anything with pockets – jeans, shirts, whatever – where germs are most likely to gather. You probably wouldn’t hot-wash them – colours would run and they’d lose their texture.

But those gentle cold water washes will do zip for your health. To be sure of clobbering most germs, water needs to be at least 60⁰C – too hot to hold your hand under. They need time at that temperature too – exactly how to make things shrink so you’ll never get into them.

Actually, the germ problem sits with everything personal that takes a lot of handling. So the safe route is to disinfect what you can and replace what you can’t.

Personal threats all round

Your phone, keys, money and cosmetics containers can all be wiped down – good reason to carry antibacterial wipes everywhere. Wallets and purses too – not forgetting make-up or toiletries bags.

And if you need convincing, take a look at the smudges and smears on your touchscreen after only a few minutes. Them’s germs, waiting to get you. And being ill is never in fashion.

It’s less easy with bigger items equally as personal – especially with cold weather coming. Coats and jackets have pockets where things get put and long forgotten. They’re not cleaned every day either, maybe not even for a whole winter. All kinds of nasties in there, ew!

OK, so dry clean them.

Not as safe as replacing. The heat is not hot enough or long enough to be sure of killing germs. And the perchlorethylene solvent most cleaners use only partially kills bacteria.

How about gloves and scarves?

Total germ factories – outside and in.

Clean hands made dirty

Outside of course, gloves touch everything that everybody else does – handles, grab rails, knobs, hanging straps, push bars, balustrades – everything in the tube, on the bus. Comes the end of the day – total yuck. And we still grab them in our teeth while we scramble for our front door keys!

Inside is even riskier because we never think to clean them. And our hands go in after whatever they’re been doing. Sometimes clean, most often not – picking up a growing colony of germs that never get looked at. And who ever cleans gloves?

Different materials, silk, leather and wool. Pull skew, shrink, distort and probably easily strained by the cleaner too. Doable but difficult. Replace, replace, replace. You get the picture.

And scarves wrapped round your face? All those germs near your mouth and nose? Do yourself a favour!

All of which is why buying new is good for your health – and could actually save your life. You’re in fashion and the pink of good health too.

Clever you. Good-looking too.

Picture Copyright: micchaelpuche / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-10-18 13:32:06.

But does your cleaning service get rid of germs?

Biz exec on phone
Germ-free in the workplace – the BIG difference between clean and safe

You’ve seen your cleaning service in action, right?

Working late, in comes the swamp-out team, embroidered polo shirts and latex gloves – all very efficient.

And sure thing, cleaning is what they do. Harry vacuum cleaner on a long lead, waste bins emptied into black plastic bags, desks wiped down with a J-cloth.

An hour tops, and they’re out of there – wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

Oh yes, and once a month they clean the windows, wipe the sills and straighten all the pictures.

Looks clean, but germs are invisible

OK, so the place looks clean, but appearances aren’t everything. And doing anything further is outside their remit. You want clean, you get clean.

Except that wall where the busted rainwater pipe cascades down the outside bricks?

There’s damp coming through and mould beginning to show – right next to where the top customer service team hit the phones all day. Experienced experts with heavy pay cheques, but always one of them down with a cough or sniffle.

Call facilities management, right. But they never answer the phone. No joy anyway, with the manager always off in Lanzarote, Ibiza, or wherever. Nice for some.

Meantime you have to wonder. Windows shut against the cold, warm air gusting down from the air-con duct. Stirring up the germs and everybody breathing the same stuff. How safe are your people anyway?

OK, there’s two of them expecting and most have had their flu jabs. But how about the tummy bug that floored  six of them last week? Not a good time to be off, and the office is still playing catch-up. A big dip in the figures when you least expect it.

Germs everywhere – a business hazard

Oh sure, the cleaning service do their job.

But by now the realisation’s hitting home that clean does not necessarily mean safe. Maybe it LOOKS clean, but there is a duty of care to all staff. And nobody wants illness to punch holes in their bottom line.

So, germs. Where do you start?

Google it, and you’ll find the average desk has over 10 million germs at any one time.

And there’s more in the air. Together with our own personal germ clouds that all of us have. That’s 80% of the room space teeming with potential health hazards. Invisible of course because they’re too small to see. But you’ll know all about it when absentees start happening.

Fortunately, there is immediate protection you can ensure. And easy enough for your cleaning service to bolt on as part of their regular package.

First they tidy up and clean like normal. Then they let fly with their germ-busting kit.

If you want to work late now, better take it home with you. It’s not harmful and that stuff that’s used is mild, but getting rid of germs requires eye protection and a breathing kit. No need to suffer irritation unnecessarily.

Germs to oblivion

That’s because the germ-buster of choice is hydrogen peroxide. Ionised to spread evenly as a dry, super-fine mist through the air in all directions – hard up against walls, ceilings and floors, reaching under and behind, deep into cracks and crevices.

Ionising also charges every particle. Causing them to reach and grab viruses and bacteria – all of which are oppositely-charged. The particles clamp to them like magnets, ripping them apart by oxidising them. Shoving oxygen atoms at them that tears apart their cell structure.

Around 40 minutes is all it takes. To generate the mist, disperse and activate – reverting back to harmless oxygen and water afterwards. In that time 99.9999% of ALL germs are annihilated – in the air, on surfaces, around all objects, everywhere.

No viruses, no bacteria, no fungi or mould either – though the landlord will still have to fix that pipe.

The small amount of water quickly evaporates – no risk to electrical connections and computer cables- leaving a microscopic layer of colloidal silver as a lasting germ barrier. The room is now safe to a Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6.

Easy-peasy? You bet.

All it takes with the Hypersteriliser machine is wheel it in, hit the button, and let everything happen automatically. With clever circulating, the cleaning service could clean and sterilise your whole place in not much longer than they do now.

No germs anywhere. Clean, secure, safe.

Your employees ought to like that. So should your balance sheet.

Put it to your cleaning service. How about it?

Picture Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-10-12 13:31:52.

Hey, give yourself a break – it’s not your fault you’re fat

Plus size businesswoman
Too much of a good thing – and through none of your own doing

First off, you’re not alone. Around two thirds of us are fat too – sharing the same problem, suffering the same angst. Already overweight or clinically obese.

We never used to be like that. Twenty years ago, most people our age were comfortably Size 12. Size wasn’t an issue – and we ATE THE SAME THINGS WE DO NOW. In the same amounts.

So what’s changed?

We’re stressed, every hour of the day, trying everything to lose the pounds. Which works for some – but who wants to live on rabbit food, or spend every day in the gym?

And who says we’re all couch potatoes – pigging out on chips and Coke in front of the TV?

Wrongly accused

We don’t chug sugary drinks, or guts burgers ten at a time. We’re ordinary people, trying to lead ordinary lives and something cruel is ballooning us against our will.

Yes, it’s a fat epidemic – but nobody’s twigged the cause.

Doctors tut-tut about BMI. Politicians and celebrities rabbit on about sugar tax. Meanwhile nobody has a clue. Because if they had, we would know about it, so all we’re doing is getting fatter.

Well maybe ONE person has it figured. In a speech to the House of Lords back in June, Lord McColl, emeritus professor of surgery at Guys Hospital, said, “It is impossible to be obese unless one is eating too many calories.”

Wise words. But hmmm – that doesn’t jell with those of us eating like birds in desperation stakes. Sure, we’ll lose weight if we stop eating altogether. And then? A one-way ticket to oblivion.

Eat too many calories, maybe. But ABSORB too many calories, definitely. Extract too much out of the food we eat, and so we pile on the pounds.

But how is this possible?

Unwanted additive we don’t even know is there

Look no further than your favourite supermarket.

All those shelves are loaded with food in quantities far greater than 20 years ago. Well sure, there’s more of us. More mouths to feed – the pressure is on to keep those gaping warehouses topped up.

Which puts the pressure on food producers to grow more crops and rear more livestock. Picture-book country farms have now become massive factory farms, getting everything to market in as quick a time as possible.

Uh huh, you’re right. Not possible without something to speed up the process. To boost growth in a way that makes everything fatter, quicker. From egg to roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From new-born calf to Aberdeen Angus steak in 14 months.

That’s the amazing and unexpected bonus of antibiotics.

See what a factory farm looks like and antibiotics are essential anyway. Overcrowded, often unsanitary, those miracle drugs are necessary to keep animals alive.

Result. Antibiotics are shovelled into animal feed around the world at the rate of 240,000 tonnes a year. And the tons of manure they make become fertiliser for every kind of vegetable, seed and fruit crop. So that residual antibiotics are present in every kind of food you can think of.

Growth boosters in our diet

With every mouthful, you’re ingesting small amounts of the same amazing growth boosters used to accelerate food production across the board. Like the animals bulk up, so do you. The fat drug makes you squeeze more nutrients out of the food you eat, you just can’t help yourself.

Without your knowing or doing anything, fatness has sneaked up on you to burst you at the seams.

It’s not fair, it’s not right and it’s endangering your health. Because pushed over into obesity, there’s nasties like diabetes, heart disease and cancer waiting for you. Our life-saving miracle drugs have become killers.

What can you do?

Not a lot. We all have to eat – but pretty well everything we buy in the supermarket will have traces of antibiotics, continuing our unwanted “treatment”.

One way is to go organic. But while food produced by organic farmers might tick all the boxes, there’s no guarantee that “natural” manure used to nurture their products are free from antibiotics.

Most cows excrete 80% of the food they ingest, Nature’s way sustaining life down to the smallest microcosm. That means 80% of their dose winds up in the soil.

To be taken up by plants or leach down into the water table – so that even the stuff in your tap includes traces of antibiotics.

Will power versus drugs

Uh huh. So grow your own at home. Without fertiliser, without anything. Using only rainwater.

Or just bite the bullet and deliberately try to eat less. We’ll always be hungry, but at least our minds will be razor sharp. We might be fat, but we’re not fatheads.

Let’s save that category for the long list of experts, do-gooders, authorities, celebrities and health freaks who know about the problem but do nothing about it.

Picture Copyright: hugofelix / 123RF Stock Photo

Originally posted 2016-10-11 13:17:01.