9 ways to drink water safely in the office
Staying safe has never been more important than now. COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to change habits that previously wouldn’t have given a second thought, even with the most basic of tasks carrying an element of risk and adapting is this new normal continues to be quite literally a matter of life or death. Despite the low risk of catching a virus or spreading germs from using water dispensers, there are small steps we can take to give us added protection and peace of mind.
One of these tasks is keeping ourselves and colleagues hydrated. Before the COVID pandemic, using a water dispenser required little planning or consideration. Approach with cup, cone or sports bottle and dispense. Avoiding touching surfaces and buttons that previously had been touch by others was considered a reasonable risk we were willing to take in order to quench our thirst.
We have identified nine ways to drink water without risking your health, improving your routines by lowering the risk of communicable illness:
(1) Wash Your Hands Regularly
At work, replace that coffee break with a hand-washing session. Washing your hands should be your number one priority when using a dispenser. Towels can also help to cut down on the spread of bacteria before, during and after you use the dispenser.
Make it a habit to wash your hands with soap and water when arriving home from work. This helps avoid the spread of illness that can occur while preparing dinner or doing other chores around the house.
(2) Exercise Social Distance
Keep a safe distance of at least 1 metre from others in the office, even when queuing to get your water refilled. If there are queues at the dispensers take a bottle or a mug with you so you can fill up safely away from the queues. Always remember to wash hands after handling containers (even reusable ones).
(3) Cover Your Mouth When You Sneeze
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw it away. Don’t blow your nose into the same hand you were using to cover your mouth because you might transfer germs to other parts of your body. Wear a face mask when you’re around others who have symptoms of cough, fever or running nose.
(4) Sanitise Regularly
If you’re at a restaurant or foodservice establishment, use hand sanitiser before and after touching faucet handles. You can also use a wet, disposable towel or paper towels at home for the same purpose.
Don’t re-use water bottles, cups or other containers that held liquids that could be contaminated with germs, such as cough drops. Wash them in hot soapy water and allow to dry. If you have a water dispenser in your office, make sure to sanitise the dispenser regularly by using a disinfectant and wiping taps and buttons.
Ask your employer about implementing a hand sanitiser program. It can be done easily and doesn’t require any additional products to be ordered or purchased.
(5) Select Water Dispensers With Protective Technology
Select dispensers with built-in antimicrobial technology that continually work to keep surfaces clean. Studies have shown that these types of dispensers can reduce the spread of germs by up to 60%.
(6) Go Hands-Free
Utilize touchless features such as foot pedals and infra-red to avoid touching buttons and dials. Go hands-free with the use of modern water dispensers where you can refill your water in your glasses without touching any buttons.
(7) Place Reminders Around Your Office
Instructions on social distancing and hygiene should be placed on or around the office and near the water dispenser. Educational materials and reminders should be posted on the wall or on a table in order to remind people what they can do to be socially responsible.
(8) Use Your Own Bottles Instead of The Pantry’s Glasses
Water bottles can be filled from dispensers in toilets, kitchens and bedrooms. With that, you can easily avoid having to drink from a contaminated glass that is might be exposed to bacteria in your office environment.
If you do decide to use shared glasses, ensure that you wash them thoroughly after use.
(9) Choose Purified Water
Drinking water from a traditional filter is not sufficient for safety. You need to use UV filtration as well to ensure that it’s free of bacteria and other unsafe material.
It is especially important to use this when cooking or preparing food. You should also get a UV water purifier for the kitchen, where you and your family can drink safely at all times. If your office still does not have a proper system to provide employees with cleaned water regularly, they should consider getting a water dispenser in Singapore.