Pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and many more can cause diseases that are infectious by nature. The pathogens can cause diseases in individuals by getting onto or into their bodies. It takes some amount of time for pathogens to multiply to a number that affects an individual in a way which can be treated as a symptom of an infectious disease. Therefore, at times an individual unknowingly helps in spreading the disease during the incubation period of the pathogen.
It is a necessity for any workplace to ensure that no pathogens are allowed to come in contact with the people working in the workplace. The workplace should ensure that every employee is aware about infectious diseases, the adequate measures to avoid them and also provide them with the right training and equipment to do so.
Causes Of Infectious Diseases
It is more than enough for one worker to have an infectious disease for a spread of such an infectious disease within the workplace. Below are given a few common causes of infectious diseases in workplaces.
Breathing In Airborne Germs: It is possible that a worker who is carrying pathogen coughs or sneezes and release airborne pathogen into the air which is later inhaled by the other workers.
Eating Contaminated Food: If a worker has disease-carrying pathogens in his body, does not wash his hands after coming contact with own bodily fluids and touches the food, he can contaminate the food which may be eaten by other workers.
Skin To Skin Contact: As mentioned above, the disease-carrying pathogen can be in or on the body of a worker. Therefore, skin to skin contact with such a person can help spread the infectious disease as well as sharing personal items such as clothing, spoons, bottles, etc.
Contact With Bodily Fluids: If there is any contact between an infected person with another worker in which bodily fluids are involved, it could also lead to the infectious disease to spread to the other worker.
Risks Of Infectious Diseases
In the workplace, it is always safe to assume that every worker is potentially infectious. Therefore, it becomes absolutely necessary that proper procedures are set up and followed for this purpose. The workplace should ensure that there is a first aid kit available at all times and that there is someone who is trained in first aid. The workplace should also ensure that the necessary equipment is provided whenever required. Below are also mentioned the risks of infectious diseases in workplaces.
- It affects the ability of the workers to work in accordance to their abilities.
- It affects the overall business of the workplace.
- It rakes in a lot of medical bills which could have been avoided.
Workplace Infectious Diseases- How To Control
As mentioned above, it is necessary for a workplace to set up procedures to ensure that there is no spread of infectious diseases in the workplace. The procedures could include the following-
Personal Hygiene Practices: Practices such as hand washing, wearing gloves, not sharing personal items etc can be advised to the workers.
How To Prepare The Food: Food preparation such as washing hands before making the food and not touching other contaminated things can be practices followed to ensure that diseases are not spread.
How To Keep The Workplace Clean: Periodically washing the ceiling and walls and regularly washing the floors, bathrooms etc of the workplace can help control the spread of infectious diseases.
How To Deal With Any Spills Of Body Fluids: Proper directions should be given to persons cleaning up the bodily fluids such as using disposable towels and using germ-killing agents to clean the area.
The Need For The Disposal Of Infectious Wastes: If there are any infectious wastes being created there should be a proper procedure set in place for their disposal.
How To Handle Contaminated Sharp Objects: In case sharp objects are involved, the workplace should ensure that if contaminated the object should either be destroyed or cleaned intensely.
As mentioned above, the spread of infectious diseases in workplaces can be very detrimental to the business carried out by the workplaces. It affects the ability to work of the workers and also has a financial risk attached to it with regards to the hospital bills. Given above are the risks, causes and way to control the spread of infectious diseases in workplaces.