Unfortunately, dust is an unavoidable part of everyday life. For some people, it is a minor nuisance but for others, it can cause allergies and be a frustrating thing to deal with. In the workplace, dust can be just as prevalent. It lands on desks, filing cabinets and unwiped surfaces. This can lead to a deterioration of air quality and pose a threat to employee health if left unmanaged.
Dust is a mixture of many fine particles, from dirt and fibres to skin flakes and pollen. This is why dust can irritate the nose and cause a cough when inhaled for long periods of time. These minute particles are easily breathed-in and can affect the nasal passage, throat and lungs. The health effects of dust inhalation can be quite severe in certain instances. It can lead to frequent headaches, long-lasting colds and even chronic asthma.
However, the most common health effect of dust is an allergic reaction, similar to hay fever. Individuals react to dust in different ways; all it takes is one type of particle, such as pollen, to cause a runny nose, sneezing, coughing and constricted chest. Dust can even contain mites, bacteria and viruses. This is why cleaning and removing dust from the workplace is such an important aspect of office hygiene.
Tips for removing dust in the workplace
Repeated and long exposure to dusty environments can be harmful to employee health. This can, in turn, affect work productivity and output. A professional contract cleaning company, such as IWESCO, will ensure that your workplace is cleaned adequately and completely free from dust particles. However, here are 10 tips for removing dust in the meantime:
1. Invest in the right cleaning equipment - Ensure that your company has the right cleaning equipment and supplies to ensure that the office is adequately cleaned on a daily basis. This includes vacuum cleaners, mops, environmentally-friendly detergents, microfibre cloths and cleaning sprays.
2. Clean office equipment regularly - Office equipment, such as computers, keyboards and printers, are dirtier than you think. Ensure that workstations, computers, telephones and equipment at least once a week. Compressed air can be used to expel dust from keyboards and hard-to-reach spaces. Desks should be sprayed and wiped down with a clean cloth.
3. Clean the air vents - As dust can directly affect the quality of air in an office, it is vital that the air vents are cleaned regularly. Uncleaned vents can cause a build-up of dust in the air, so they need to be wiped down and shaken out on a weekly basis. An electrostatic mop or a thin vacuum attachment can be effective for removing dust from air conditioning units and vents.
4. Don’t neglect radiators - Many offices have radiators for the winter months. Whether these are hot water-based radiators or bar heaters, they are often neglected by cleaning staff. Dust can gather on the front and rear surfaces of radiators, so they need to be properly cleaned on a regular basis.
5. Get employees involved too - Hygiene should not only be the responsibility of cleaning staff. Encourage employees to look after their own desks and equipment. Set aside 15 minutes every week for employees to clean and wipe down their immediate work environments. This includes decluttering desks, throwing away papers and tidying up their space.
6. Get rid of the feather duster - A feather duster, whether made from nylon fibres or ostrich feathers, is probably doing more harm than good. It does not capture dust; rather, it simply agitates it back into the air. Surfaces may look clean after using a feather duster, but all that dust is now floating around in the office. Microfibre cloths are far better solutions for capturing and holding onto dust.
7. Sweeping is not effective - A broom or brush does a similar job to a feather duster. They simply kick the dust back up into the atmosphere. For optimal results, use a vacuum cleaner and then mop the floors with a damp mop to remove every minute dust particle. For hardwood floors, use a vacuum with a brush attachment to protect the surface.
8. Consider purchasing an air purifier - These gadgets come in various forms and can be quite effective at removing dust from the air. Some of them use swirling water to capture dust particles and expel clean air back into the environment. Air purifiers can help employees that suffer from allergies and asthma, so consider purchasing small, desktop purifiers for these employees if your budget is limited.
9. Blinds can be incredible dust traps - While blinds may be effective at precisely controlling ambient light and wind, they can also be great dust traps. Wind carrying particles into an office window will pass over the blinds, which catch much of the dust. It is vital to wipe down blinds on a weekly basis with a damp microfibre cloth.
10. Hang jackets and bags in a separate room - Did you know that 60% of dust is brought into a room from outside? Consider implementing a policy that all jackets, bags and unnecessary outdoor clothing items are left in a separate room adjacent to the office. This will reduce the amount of dust that is brought into an office from outside.
These 10 tips will help you to keep your office free from dust and protect the well-being of your employees at the same time. The extra time and effort spent on cleaning and removing dust can have a big impact on employee morale, productivity and hygiene. To get an obligation-free assessment or a quote, contact IWESCO today for your professional contact cleaning needs.
IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.