Research reveals three dirtiest places in the office

Toilet seats are not among the germiest areas.

Simply opening the door to your workplace may be the most hazardous thing you do during your workday.

New research from office furniture suppliers Furniture at Work found that office door handles had the largest amount of bacteria – 30 times more than toilets seats in the office restroom.

The research tested several areas of a busy office to determine the amount of relative light units (RLU) they contained, which is directly correlated with the number of bacteria and other contaminants in an area.

The door handle to the main office door had a reading of 648 RLU, followed by the breakroom sink (487 RLU) and the microwave door (408 RLU).  In comparison, a toilet seat in the office restroom produced a result of just 21 RLU.

Image source: Furniture at Work

One of the biggest hot spots for RLU and potentially bacteria was the staff kitchen. The place where we’re likely to make hot drinks and consume food was found to have three of the top five highest RLU counts in the whole office. The sink (487), microwave door (408) and kettle (288) all registered in the top five, with the fridge (195) coming eighth.

When it came to workstations, the office chair (222) was another area we might not think of as being unclean that is potentially harbouring a lot of bacteria. The desk phone (193), keyboard (176) and mouse (150) all came in with readings over 100 RLU, whereas the surface of the desk measured (90).

Image source: Furniture at Work

The top office bacteria hotspots are listed below:

Top 10 office bacteria hotspots

Area Measurement (RLU)
Office Door Handle 648
Office Sink 487
Microwave Door 408
Mobile Phone 345
Kettle 288
Toilet Tap 239
Office Chair 222
Kitchen Fridge 195
Desk Phone 193
Keyboard 176

“As workers prepare to return to the office, many potentially with a feeling of trepidation, our research has helped to highlight the areas where employers must work hard to maintain hygiene and employees should be extra careful,” said a spokesperson from Furniture at Work.

“The fact that a toilet seat carries 30 times less bacteria than a door handle proves why hand hygiene is still so important.”

This article was first published by CMM Online 

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