How to Avoid Germs This Flu Season

How to Avoid Germs This Flu Season

Ways to Avoid Germs this Flu Season

Germs are a concern year-round, especially in shared environments like workplaces. Yet, during flu season, it’s particularly important to avoid picking up any germs. According to the CDC, flu viruses can range in severity from mild to severe, and for more than 4,600 people per year, they’re even fatal.

The flu is most dangerous for elderly individuals, pregnant women, children, and people with certain preexisting medical conditions. With that being said, even people in excellent health can become severely ill from particularly strong strains of the virus. Since no one wants to spend days (or in some cases, even weeks) feeling their worst, there are a few tips you can implement to keep flu germs at bay in your family, workplace, and community:

Talk to Your Doc . . .

They’ll likely recommend the flu shot for you and your family members – it’s the single best way to prevent contracting the illness. Only a select portion of the population – including those who have had severe allergic reactions to the vaccine – should avoid flu shots. However, it’s always a good idea to get a professional’s opinion. Also, keep in mind that flu vaccinations wear off over time. The vaccine is updated each year to reflect current strains, so be sure to follow the vaccination schedule recommended by your physician.

. . . Don’t Consider Yourself “Immune”

If you’ve received a flu vaccination, it doesn’t mean you’re completely immune to contracting the virus. In fact, the CDC reports the risk of contracting the flu is reduced by 40-60% in patients who receive the vaccine. The overwhelming majority of medical experts still consider it worth getting, but know that it protects against certain strains than others. This means you’ll still need to take precautions to avoid falling ill, so keep reading even if you’ve received or plan to receive a flu shot.

Encourage Employees to Stay Home

The best way to keep flu germs out of the workplace is to prevent infected employees from bringing them in. If you manage a team or oversee a business, encourage your personnel to stay home when they’re feeling under the weather. Most strains are highly contagious, and can even be contracted when you breathe in a flu aerosol particle from ten feet away!

Wash Hands Regularly

There are certain environments – such as your home and personal work space – which you can control and keep clean. In public environments, however, you’re bound to come into contact with flu viruses at one point or another. To limit your exposure, wash your hands often, and always before eating or touching your face. When you’ve come into contact with frequently-used public objects, like cafeteria trays, ATMs, and door handles, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Limit the Spread of Infection

Fight viruses with the Curad Anti-Viral Face Mask

Most doctor’s offices now provide face masks in the patient waiting area, which should be donned by potentially infected visitors. If you own or manage a healthcare facility, keep an ample supply of anti-viral face masks on hand for the flu season. Nurses and doctors may also wish to put on face masks before treating potentially infected patients to reduce their risks of contracting the illness. Also, keep in mind the virus can be spread up to seven days before a person exhibits symptoms. Thus, it’s a good idea to avoid sharing straws, makeup products, and similar objects with others.

Keep Your Spaces Clean

Wipe away germs with CleanTex Phone Wipes

According to a Clorox survey, 41% of workers say they rarely – if ever – disinfect their desks. Your cubicle and similar personal spaces can harbor countless germs, so taking extra precautions to keep them clean during flu season is essential to your wellness. From your cubicle to your household, wipe down surface areas often to keep germs at bay. Keep office environments well-stocked with cleaning supplies which can be used safely on electronics like touch-screen computers and keyboards. Use CleanTex Phone Wipes for desk equipment and phones and use CleanTex Clean and Safe wipes or Purell Sanitizing Hand Wipes for your hands.

Cover Your Cough

If you do get the flu or feel like it could be coming on, be sure to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Afterwards, clean your hands to prevent passing your germs onto any surface areas. The flu virus isn’t just spread by airborne respiratory droplets; it can also be passed by skin-to-skin contact and by touching a contaminated surface. Leave a germ-free surface by cleaning with disinfectant wipes.

Practice Healthy Habits

Eating a nutrient-rich diet is a great way to boost your body’s immunity, but many individuals still fall short in certain vitamins and minerals. Talk to your doctor about taking a multivitamin to stay as healthy as possible, and be sure to get plenty of sleep. If you do contract the flu, stay hydrated and seek medical attention if any symptoms become extreme.

Keep your office environment clean this flu season by stocking up on disinfecting wipes, sanitizers, anti-viral face masks and more through Harmony Business Supplies. We have everything you need to stop germs in their tracks. Visit our online storefront for a full list of products, or get in touch with a product specialist for assistance.


How to Breathe Properly with a Face Mask

How to Breathe Properly with a Face Mask

Breathe Safely with Face Masks

In many work environments, face masks are critical for keeping employees safe against breathing in toxins, contaminants, or other harmful particles in the air. While wearing one is second-nature for many associates, if you’re new to the practice, it can feel unfamiliar at first.

Ensuring a proper fit isn’t just essential to your comfort; it’s also critical to keeping you and your fellow employees safe and healthy. Here, we go over the basics of wearing face masks properly to ensure safe breathing.

1. Prep

One aspect of wearing a face mask properly begins before you even put it on. In order to prevent germ transfer in a cleanroom setting, you must first clean your hands using antibacterial soap to keep the mask sterile/clean. If there’s no hand soap within reach, use alcohol disinfectant instead.

2. Place It

face mask placement

Before bringing the mask up to your face, make sure you’re holding it so that it’s facing the right direction. The top portion of the mask should have a bendable edge, which you’ll fit against your nose for a secure seal. Additionally, either side of the mask should have ear loops, which, as their names suggest, will be placed behind each ear. The loops on ear masks are elastic and thus designed to stretch for a comfortable fit with all face shapes. There are also tie style face masks instead of elastic ear loop face masks.

Some face masks also have eye shields to protect your eyes from coming into contact with hazardous fluids or objects. The shield components of these masks should fully cover your eye area. These protective shield face masks also feature fog-resistant panes to ensure clear vision while you’re working.

Once you’ve secured the ear loops or ties, you may also wish to adjust the top edge so that it sits more comfortably and securely against your nose and face. Make sure both your nose and mouth are fully covered by the mask.

3. Double Check

After the mask is secure, check the sides of it for any escaped air. While most designs with ear loops prevent air from escaping, you may have to press the sides against your face with some types of masks for a snug fit.

4. Breathe THIS Way

inhale through your nose exhale through your mouth

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you can breathe with ease once your mask is secured firmly. Yet, it’s important to be mindful of your breath while you have your mask on, as there’s a certain way of breathing used by professionals who wear masks in clean environments. To ensure safe and comfortable breathing, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Your nose is designed to trap any contaminants in your cilia (the tiny hairs within your nostrils) to prevent them from entering your body. The mouth is better for exhaling, as it helps you release all of your air more efficiently.

5. Remove with Care

Once you’re done wearing the mask, be careful to touch only the ear loops or ties as you remove it. Dispose of it in the designated receptacle and wash your hands again.
There are many styles of disposable face masks available for different applications.. To find the right option to suit your business’s needs, browse through our selection online.

5 Tips for Flu Season

5 Tips for Flu Season


Did you know that 80% of infectious illnesses are spread through hands and surfaces?

Reduce cross-contamination of germs by keeping a clean and hygienic environment.


Follow these 5 simple tips to stay healthy during this flu season!


Tip 1: Wash Hands Often

Wash hands, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and after being outside. Use soap and warm water for 20 seconds.

This is the minimum recommended time to get your hands clean. It is also important to dry your hands with a fresh, clean towel.


Tip 2: Get Immunized

The flu virus can spread fast, so get vaccinated.

You can get vaccinated for H1N1 and the seasonal flu at the same time, in the same shot.


Tip 3: Use Anti-Viral Facial Tissue

Some cold and flu viruses can live up to 24 hours on regular tissues, so use an Anti-Viral facial tissue that will kill 99.9% of common cold viruses.


Tip 4: Cough or Sneeze into your Elbow

One sneeze can spray up to 3,000 infection droplets into the air at more than 100 MPH. If you don’t have a tissue handy, use the inner part of your sleeve at the elbow. Do you part to help reduce the fast spread of germs.


Tip 5.: Stay Home if Sick

Don’t get your workspace sick by showing up sick. Stay home if your’re sick. The work will wait, and you won’t spread your illness to coworkers.


Reduce cross-contamination of germs by keeping a clean and hygienic environment.


You can also fight viruses and stay protected with Curad Anti-Viral Face Masks.


MSC351-2Be sure to check out our selection of Disinfectants to stay safe.384S-2







Respirators – Protection from Airborne Particles

What is a Respirator?

A respirator is a device worn over the face/mouth designed to protect the wearer from inhaling harmful dusts, fumes, vapors, or gases. Respirators come in a wide range of types and sizes used by all sorts of industries.
Respirators cover the nose, mouth, and sometimes the eyes and face. They provide protection from airborne particles including dust, mist, liquids and fumes, gases or vapors. Respirators range from single-use disposable masks, to reusable models with replaceable cartridges.

Why Should You Use a Respirator?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that deaths from work related respiratory diseases and cancers account for about 70% of all occupational disease deaths.

An estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. – US Department of Labor

Even “clean” industrial processes often generate large amounts of harmful particulate matter and require breathing protection. Respirators provide protection against work related respiratory diseases and cancers by filtering out harmful particulates.

How to Choose the Right Respirator

The contaminants, exposure, time, and concentration level of potential airborne particles is essential to know when choosing a respirator. If used in the workplace, a respiratory protection program must be in place according to the requirements set by OSHA Respiratory Protection Standards.


Styles of face masks to consider:

Half Face Mask:half face masks

  • Protects nose and mouth
  • Found in particulate and chemical cartridge/gas masks
  • Both in disposable and reusable respirator models
  • Eyewear and additional face protection may be needed

Full Face Mask:full face masks

  • Protects eyes, nose and mouth
  • Found in particulate and chemical cartridge/gas masks
  • Reusable respirators only

Respirator valve variations:


  • One-way exhalation valve near the mouth
  • Allows user to experience cool, dry comfort
  • Found on these respirator types
  • Disposable and reusable particulate respirators
  • Chemical cartridge/gas mask respirators


  • No vents to allow air movement
  • Hot air may build up inside respirator with long period of continuous use
  • Found only on disposable, particulate respirators

Respirator cartridges and filters:


  • Used in respirators to protect against gases and vapors
  • Chemical cartridges block out vapors but not particles
  • Dual cartridges include a replaceable pre-filter to block airborne particles
  • Found on these respirator types
  • Disposable and reusable particulate respirators
  • Chemical cartridge/gas mask respirators


  • Used in respirators to protect against airborne particles
  • Replacements are widely available
  • Not found in disposable respirators
  • Found in both particulate and chemical/gas mask respirators


Respirator Ratings

Respirators are rated by the type of contaminants and how much they filter out. Each rating has a letter (N) and number (95). The numbers refer to the percentage of one-micrometer particles removed during trials.

United States NIOSH standards define the following categories of particulate filters:

Oil resistance Rating Description
Not oil resistant N95 Filters at least 95% of airborne particles
N99 Filters at least 99% of airborne particles
N100 Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles
Oil Resistant R95 Filters at least 95% of airborne particles
R99 Filters at least 99% of airborne particles
R100 Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles
Oil Proof P95 Filters at least 95% of airborne particles
P99 Filters at least 99% of airborne particles
P100 Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles


Protect yourself and your employees from harmful airborne particles with the right respirator.

Stay healthy and safety compliant by using respirators!