Staff welfare areas and their contamination risk

Date: 16/09/19

Staff welfare areas and their contamination risk

These days, most farmers are well aware of the need for biosecurity and animal hygiene procedures for their livestock. Areas such as sheds, milking units and other animal housing each have their own strict biosecurity regime in order to help to keep them disease free and prevent cross contamination between units should an outbreak occur. What’s more, the animals themselves are subject to carefully controlled biosecurity, with processes such as foot baths part of the regular regime to protect livestock hygiene.
However, one part of the farm that often gets overlooked are the welfare areas for farm staff. Yet without the proper precautions, these can easily become a staging post for bacteria and viruses, allowing staff to transmit them between different areas of the farm and between different farm workers.

Staff hygiene

There is a significant risk of staff becoming the vectors that transmit disease from one part of the farm to another, and so it is vital that staff welfare areas are covered by the same levels of biosecurity as any other part of the farm. Staff must have the facilities to clean boots and clothing effectively, with appropriate disinfectants, as well as washing facilities and further disinfectants available for their hands. What’s more, staff welfare facilities should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis, increasing to daily cleaning and disinfection during any disease outbreak.
Kersia provides a wide range of proven products to support biosecurity in staff welfare areas, including a choice of biodegradable hand sanitizing gel and high foam bactericidal liquid soap, which are both proven against gram -ve and gram +ve bacteria and fungi, including MRSA. Hand soap and hand sanitiser should be used by everyone entering and exiting the site via the staff welfare areas.
We also offer a range of products that can be used to provide boot dips, including HPPA, Virex, Virophor 2.8% and Viroshield. Boot washes without lids should be changed daily.
For topical use, Kersia Super Wipes provide readily biodegradable QAC free, anti-bacterial and antiviral protection with class leading efficacy at lower temperatures. These can be used throughout staff welfare areas to maintain the highest levels of protection for both your staff and your farm.

Multi-site staff

Staff biosecurity is especially important where your team work across a range of different areas of the farm, or travel between sites. It is all too easy for contamination to spread through soiling such as mud or faeces on vehicles and boots. Where possible, vehicles should always be parked away from livestock, avoiding areas where animals have access and which could be contaminated. If this is not possible, then wheel baths should be provided to reduce the risk of transferring contamination between sites. 
Viroshield is ideal for use in wheel disinfection should be checked daily to ensure there is sufficient solution available and at the correct dilution rate. During an outbreak, it is important to ensure all vehicles disinfect on entering & exiting the farm, paying extra attention to wheels, wheel arches, tyres & mud guards.

By paying as much attention to staff hygiene as animal hygiene and livestock hygiene, you can make your farm a safer place for all concerned, reducing disease and improving productivity in a way that makes their jobs as safe as their environment.

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