New study reveals the 10 germiest spots at the office

The light switch in the lobby was the most polluted place, while interior and exterior door handles were another germ haven, emphasizing the necessity for touchless access control.

Oosto, formerly AnyVision, announced today the results of a sponsored study by Bio-Lab Ltd. which showed that the most polluted place in the office is the light switch in the lobby. The findings also highlight other high-traffic areas, including interior and exterior door handles, which are also quite “germy.”

Since the Covid-19 epidemic broke out nearly two years ago, many offices have closed, and working from home has become commonplace. Now, in parallel with the outbreak of the Omicron variant, workplaces are looking for the safest way to get back to routine, maintain the health of employees, and promote a safe and hygienic work environment.

Bio-Lab conducted their research inside a typical office location used regularly by approximately 100 people. Tens of surfaces were sampled over time, and bacterial colonies like E. Coli, Listeria, and Salmonella were counted.

As explained by Dr. Amichai Yavlovich, Head of Microbiology for Bio-Lab, “We performed a sample and checked the presence of common bacteria such as coliforms, E. Coli, Streptococcus, molds, and yeast. The data in the CFU/g (colony-forming unit per gram) table represent an overall count of microbial colonies per gram.”

According to the study, these are the ten germiest surfaces at the office:

The study was conducted for Oosto, a world-leading visual AI platform company that organizations across the globe use to create trusted, seamless experiences in their physical spaces. While the front door handle is usually an immediate suspect, the study demonstrates that the most infected places are areas that many people touch but are rarely sterilized. The fingerprint reader, another place that everyone touches and is seldom cleaned, came out as the 16th most germ-filled location. According to separate research, viruses – the most frequently found pathogens on these surfaces – can remain present for up to 48 hours.

“Pre-Covid-19, employee safety was mostly about security, allowing only authorized people to enter and alerting the presence of people on a watchlist such as shoplifters or casino cheaters,” said Paul Witt, Oosto’s VP of Sales and GM Americas. “A growing number of organizations are turning to touchless technologies such as facial biometrics to minimize risks associated with Covid while maintaining the health of employees and visitors.”

Such applications include the use of visual AI to ensure that people wear masks, enforce social distancing, and maintain that population density in public spaces is in accordance with the recommendations of public health experts. A separate report finds that 82% of schools and colleges plan to adapt existing video monitoring systems to keep their campuses Covid-safe.

Added Witt, “Many employers are now looking for touchless solutions for access control, time attendance, and other processes involving no contact with surfaces while ensuring employee safety. Embedded liveness technology ensures that every detected face is a real person and not a photograph or digital image; it also ensures the process of authenticating a person begins three meters from the point of entry and takes less than a second, which eliminates the need for a person to break stride.”

Oosto integrates with leading access control systems and access control hardware, including security doors and speed gates from industry-leading manufacturer Boon Edam, making it faster, easier, and more cost-effectively to quickly implement and scale the technology across locations.

To learn more about Oosto’s touchless access control solutions, visit the Oosto OnAccess product page.

About Oosto

Leading organizations in the financial services, buildings, retail, health, sports, gaming, and other Fortune 500 companies are using Oosto’s leading visual AI platform to positively impact safety, productivity, and customer experience. Oosto enables enterprises to better protect their customers, guests, and employees by identifying security and safety threats in real-time without compromising on fair and ethical use. Founded in 2015, Oosto operates globally through a network of offices and distributors and is backed by leading investors including Softbank Vision Fund, Eldridge, Qualcomm Ventures and DFJ Growth.

To learn more about how Oosto incorporates ethical AI and data privacy into its solutions and processes, please see: Why Trust Oosto.

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