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Killer Keyboards: How Clean is Your Desk?

We’ve previously discussed the onus on your employer to ensure that you have a workstation which is safe and fit for purpose. You work station i.e. your desk, chair and surrounding area, should be such that you can work day to day without causing yourself undue harm. Your desk should be set up for your own individual needs, so if you need your monitor at a certain height – it should be that way, or if you need back support – this should be provided.

But what about a clean keyboard, monitor and telephone policy? Does your workplace have one? It’s likely they don’t as it isn’t compulsory and there currently isn’t any legislation on the matter.

On the Daily Mail’s website today I read a shocking article about the germs and bacteria contained within our keyboards and on our telephones and the illnesses that are increasing as a result.

Just how clean is your keyboard?

There were several shocking reports found by Which?, who carried out the research, including one woman who thought seeds were coming out of her keyboard (which she found to be confusing as she never ate at her desk). After tests were carried out it was discovered that these “seeds” were actually mice droppings!

Another keyboard also tested as part of the research found one gentleman’s keyboard to contain 150 times the acceptable limit for bacteria and 5 times as dirty as an average toilet seat!

The research concluded that 1 in 10 of us never clean our keyboards and 20% of us never clean our mouse. Half of the people surveyed only cleaned their keyboard once a month.

Keyboards are a breeding ground for germs

I think you’ll agree that these are shocking statistics. How many of us spend hours at our computers and then walk away to have our lunch/tea and do not even consider washing our hands? Why do we need to, right? At the end of the day they’re our germs so how can they harm us? But consider who else may have used your keyboard or phone; what food may have dropped on to the keyboard (the remains of which are still in there!). We’ve all spilled a drink on the computer at some point!

So, even if your employers do not have a system in place in respect of cleaning your work stations i.e. an external company coming in to clean the keyboards, maybe you should consider investing in some anti-bacterial gel for your desk – best to be safe than sorry!

You might want to think twice before you tuck in to that snack next time at your office workstation!

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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