Facility Hygiene, Germ Transmission, and Occupant Productivity

Facility Hygiene, Germ Transmission, and Occupant Productivity

Increasing the baseline level of facility hygiene has been shown to decrease the transmission of deadly pathogens while increasing occupant productivity.

Facility Hygiene, Germ Transmission, and Occupant Productivity

Improved Surface & Hand Hygiene Prevents Germ Transmission

Scientific studies have established a direct connection between the cleanliness of surfaces in public facilities, individual hand hygiene, the transmission of pathogens, and viral outbreaks, concluding that improved sanitation and handwashing practices will reduce the presence and transmission of pathogens, resulting in the elimination of widespread outbreaks.

According to a study published by the American Society of Microbiology;

Investigations of disease outbreaks and disinfection intervention studies have documented indoor surfaces as reservoirs for pathogenic viruses with potential spread of infectious disease.

Epidemiological studies have also identified fomites as a potential vehicle for disease transmission.

Hygiene and disinfection intervention studies have demonstrated two concepts that support transmission of viral infection via fomites.

First, proper cleaning of hands decreases respiratory and gastrointestinal illness.

Second, disinfection of fomites can decrease surface contamination and may interrupt disease spread.

Generally, research evidence suggests that a large portion of enteric and respiratory illnesses can be prevented through improved environmental hygiene, with an emphasis on better hand and surface cleaning practices.

Significance of Fomites in the Spread of Respiratory and Enteric Viral Disease

Further studies have proven that hygiene intervention studies that involved the implementation of fomite disinfection, regular surface cleaning, and hand sanitizers significantly reduced the presence and spread of germs in public facilities.

Findings have shown that minimal, cost-effective intervention procedures have a major impact on occupant exposure to pathogens and infection transmission risk.

According to the American Journal of Infection Control;

[...] the increased purposeful use of hygiene products, such as hand sanitizers, wipes, and disinfectant spray, significantly reduced the transmission of the virus on fomites and the hands of staff in an LTCF.

These results suggest that the implementation of similar interventions could reduce the environmental transmission of pathogens in LTC settings.

The described intervention model could be used by LTCFs to develop their own successful, cost-effective, pathogen control programs.

For example, facilities could simply make hand sanitizer more readily available, as demonstrated in the described intervention, to decrease transmission of pathogens from the hands of staff members.

Our previous studies have shown that the reduction of viruses on surfaces corresponds to a reduction of exposure probability and overall infection risk.

Control of the spread of viruses in a long-term care facility using hygiene protocols


The Effect of Facility Hygiene on Occupant Productivity

Facility hygiene directly impacts indoor air quality, indoor environment quality, occupant wellness, and productivity.

An investigation into workplace cleanliness, both actual and perceived, as it corresponds to productivity found that;

[...] there is a significant relationship between perceived cleanliness and measured cleanliness.

Perceived cleanliness and measured cleanliness show the same relation with productivity.

Because the measured cleanliness is significantly related to productivity, whereas the perceived cleanliness is not, it is likely that the measured cleanliness is a more sensitive indicator for the cleanliness.

The significant relationship that has been found between the measured cleanliness and the perceived productivity implies that the secondary process (cleaning the office environment) affects the primary process (perceived productivity).

This means that investing in cleaning activities may result in increased productivity [...]

In addition, there appears to be a negative correlation between the particle counts in the ambient air and the satisfaction of employees with work (work satisfaction).

A positive correlation is found between surface cleanliness and the satisfaction of employees with work (work satisfaction).

Impact of cleanliness on the productivity of employees

Another study found a strong correlation between facility hygiene and the moral judgments of the occupants.

According to the results of an investigation published by Ingenta Connect;

We recruited 59 participants who were employees of a large company in China, and assigned 28 to a clean workroom and 31 to a dirty workroom.

We measured their judgment of whether or not the behavior was acceptable, using the Counterproductive Work Behavior Checklist.

Results showed that participants working in a clean environment tended to regard CWB as less acceptable than did those in a dirty environment, that is, a cleaner environment led to harsher judgment.

Results suggested that there is a metaphorical association between environmental cleanliness and moral judgment.

Effect of workplace environment cleanliness on judgment of counterproductive work behavior



Scientific studies have established direct causal relationships between surface hygiene and occupant health and productivity.

Further studies have established a link between the perception of workplace cleanliness and occupant moral conduct and behavior.

The result of all studies established a link between workplace cleanliness intervention campaigns consisting of cost-effective measures that included;

  • Increased cleaning frequencies.
  • Strategic placement of hand sanitizers, and;
  • Educating workforce and house cleaning staff on proper hygiene and sanitation procedures, and;

Decreased levels of pathogens on surfaces, as well as reported infections, illnesses, and absences.

If you would like more information regarding the effectiveness of high-performance infection prevention and control measures, or if you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation onsite assessment of your facility's custodial needs, contact us today for a free quote!

In Bakersfield, CA, call (661) 437-3253

In Fresno, CA, call (559) 206-1059

In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253

In Palmdale, CA or Lancaster, CA, call (661) 371-4756

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Southern Valley

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Southern Valley