Office loo & sickness

PTI | ByAsian News International, Sydney
May 25, 2004 04:07 PM IST

Dodgy canteens, a lack of handwashing and "tight buildings" could be a source of illness.

A new survey conducted by the The Food Safety Information Council indicates that the workplace with its dodgy canteens, a lack of handwashing and "tight buildings" could be a significant source of illness.

HT Image
HT Image

According to the Sunday Times, the survey revealed that more than 30 per cent of Australian men do not wash their hands after going to the toilet, compared with 8 per cent of women. Of those who wash their hands, 80 per cent of women and 93 per cent of men do not wash them properly.

The researchers said that due to open-plan offices and tight use of building space, what's produced in the building, stays in the building exposing workers to a range of nasty bugs.

Foodlink in the UK said that bacteria such as e-coli can exist in washrooms for up to eight days. And simply flushing the loo drives the bacteria into the air and into workers' lungs.

According to Dr Vijay Jayasena, a public health expert at Curtin University, many bugs picked up in toilets did not make people sick immediately but could take weeks or longer to affect their health.

"People who wash their hands after using the toilet still have a very high chance of contamination from the door handle. This would not be the case if everyone washed their hands," he said. The chance of contamination in the workplace was high because of time pressures.

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