BIRMINGHAM — In Water Technology’s October feature, “Discussing health around the water cooler,” Assistant Editor Maria Woodie writes about how water coolers, in the office and at home, are often a location where cross contamination can occur, increasing the chances of employees becoming sick during the flu season.

The article suggests a few ways water dealers can advise customers on reducing the chances of flu outbreaks:

  • Hand-washing is believed by many to be the number one defense against cross contamination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends strict guidelines for proper hand-washing, featuring the following information: Wash your hands frequently throughout the day, especially before and after certain activities where you may come in contact with germs, bacteria and other contaminants. When washing your hands, wet them with clean, running water, turn off the tap and then apply soap — lathering your hands by rubbing them together, making sure to get under your nails, between your fingers and rub soap on the back of your hands. Once lathered, scrub hands for at least 20 seconds — you can hum the “Happy Birthday” song from start to end twice, for a good estimate of time. Rinse hands and either use a clean towel or air dry.
  • Health/safety signs around the office and water cooler, including one highlighting the correct way to wash your hands, are also great for encouraging good office hygiene.
  • Business owners should urge everyone in the office to stay home when they are sick. The flu is very contagious and easily transmittable. It only takes one person to infect an entire office.
  • Keeping hand sanitizer around the water cooler and also at your desk is a good extra step on top of frequently washing your hands.
  • Clean and sanitize water coolers and surrounding areas prior and during the flu season, in addition to times allotted within the cleaning schedule already in place. Any area that water comes in contact with should be cleaned.

With the flu season now upon us, water treatment dealers can play an important role in educating consumers on cross contamination concerns — not only helping to keep end users healthy this flu season but also gaining a competitive sales and marketing edge.

You can find the entire article on reducing cross contamination here.