Computers and Hygiene

It may surprise many people to learn that computer workstations harbour far more bacteria and germs than the average toilet seat. It has been said that many of the minor illnesses that keep people off work are actually caused by workstations and the office environments.

Many offices can be described as sick, in that they Are areas that cause ill health, through lack of ventilation, bad lighting and the germs that congregate around workstations .

The main reasons that computer workstations harbour so much filth, with diseases such as E-coli and MRSA having been discovered on office keyboards and computer mouse is that they can be difficult to clean.

Keyboards in particular are notorious to get clean. Coffee and food spills fall between the keys and provides a veritable banquet for germs to spread.

Fortunately manufacturers are now realising the potential harm that computer equipment can cause. Medical keyboards have been distributed throughout clinical wards in an attempt to curb the amount of hospital acquired infections.

These silicone and bacteria resistant keyboards are also now being used for industrial applications. The flat keyboards are designed to leave no hiding place for germs and the silicone materials allow the keyboards to be doused in water, essential for keeping bacteria at bay, particularly in food processing areas. However, these washable keyboards are now being utilised by regular offices as people become aware of the bacteria’s and germs that can be harboured.

A medical mouse, also made from silicone, is also now becoming popular as computer mice are the most handled of computer peripherals.

Computer processor towers or desktop units can also harbour germs. The difficulties with actual electronic machinery is not just that they accumulate germs but being electrical they are difficult to clean as electronics and water do not mix.   Whilst computer cabinets are often used in industrial applications, office users are now using similar cabinets TO protect monitors and PC’s from water allowing them to be washed down.

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