Of course it’s your fault, you’re not doing anything.
Nothing for your customers, nothing for your staff.
They’re getting themselves infected and you’re just letting them.
Get ready to be the victim
Which means any minute now, they’re going to clobber you.
Duty of care or some such… you didn’t stop them.
So now they’ve got sick in your place, so of course it must be your fault. Give them a chance and they’ll sue you down to the ground for generations to come.
After all, you let them walk in with unwashed hands and didn’t make a fuss. You didn’t nanny them into using soap and water, giving themselves a good scrub. You just let them sit there at your restaurant table or office desk and carry on regardless.
And how do you know where they might have been?
Clutching handrails on the bus or supermarket trolley. Those grubby railings out in the street. Not forgetting the escalator, or the touchscreen on their phones – all kinds of germs out there, heaving on everything.
Who knows what they might have picked up? E.coli, salmonella, clostridium difficile, campylobacter, the superbug MRSA, flu viruses and norovirus are usual suspects. Any one of which could give them collywobbles, or something more serious.
Don’t believe it?
Just ask yourself – out and about, doing things in the city, when was the last time you washed your own hands?
Can’t remember? Neither can most of us – because we don’t think of it. Which means most of the time, our personal hand hygiene is non-existent. Most of us don’t wash our hands at all, so there’s all kinds of bugs crawling on there – including poo from the loo for at least 28% of us.
So check out these people – what are they doing? Tucking into your menu specials? Using a knife and fork, or their fingers?
Oops, there you go, a piece of bread roll straight out of their hand. Bread, butter – and norovirus – down the hatch. It only takes 10 norovirus particles to be infected – and there’s probably several thousand in each mouthful.
Give it 24 hours and the phone’s going to go. Cramps, vomiting and the world’s worst diarrhoea – after eating at your place and they’re calling their lawyers.
And you did nothing.
Nothing to cause them being ill – but nothing to stop them either. So now you’re going to get it.
Guilty because you’re innocent
Same thing if they’re working in your office. Unwashed fingers on the keyboard, then touching themselves round the eyes and mouth. Or eating a sarnie at their desk, just to make sure.
Not at work tomorrow. Sick as a dog and unable to move. But they’re onto the union rep about work-place germs – how dare you run an unhealthy environment!
Your fault again for doing nothing. Not rescuing them from themselves.
So what to do?
You can’t force people to wash their hands. They’ll get offended and give you more grief than you already have. And their sloppy hygiene could cost you plenty.
Not fair, is it? You already provide washrooms and loos – your place is always spic and span. Yet it’s you that gets hit for THEIR negligence.
Time to do something to protect yourself – duty of care – duty of bottom line.
By making hygiene much more assertive.
Because at the moment, it’s just passive, isn’t it? If they don’t wash their hands after the loo, that’s their indaba – but it’s you that gets it in the neck.
So put a bottle of hand sanitising gel on their desks – or offer them each individually packaged antiseptic wipes.
It’s a courtesy, right? How are they going to refuse you?
And how many are likely to think about suing you if they STILL come down with some bug? You’ve visibly demonstrated you care for their well-being. Yeah they’re still suffering, but more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.
OK – and you can take it a stage further too. Not just sanitise their hands, but sterilise the whole place – get rid of the residual germs in the air or on surfaces, some of which can survive for up to two weeks or more.
Duty of care – duty of bottom line. Because what is the cost if they sue? Or the down time if they’re not working? The loss of trade? The loss of goodwill? The loss of reputation?
Norovirus alone costs the NHS £100 million a year. Get unlucky and it could put you out of business.
Yeah, look after your people – and protect yourself too – belt and braces.
All it takes is a Hypersteriliser – and around 40 minutes every night, part of your normal cleaning operations.
Press a button and it mists up deserted rooms with ionised hydrogen peroxide – which spreads everywhere through the air and into cracks and crevices, oxidising germs to nothing on the fly.
The result? A Sterility Assurance Level of Log 6 – in non-medic speak, that’s 99.9999% of all viruses and bacteria gone.
No way anything can be your fault after that.
Picture Copyright: atic12 / 123RF Stock Photo