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Nasty Germs Hitching a Ride in Electricians’ Work Vans

Investigation reveals some service vehicles carry more bacteria than a toilet door handle

A tradesperson’s work van often acts as their second home, with many drivers spending much of their time on the road or taking breaks behind the wheel. While many people wouldn’t dream of leaving their home uncleaned, a recent survey revealed how dirty a tradesperson’s work vehicle can get., a British financial services comparison website, partnered with the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex in Colchester, U.K., to investigate the various germs living in six trade vans belonging to:

  • A builder
  • A carpenter
  • A dog groomer
  • An electrician
  • A bricklayer
  • A plumber

The results showed that vans can harbor numerous germs, some of which can pose a serious threat to the health of their drivers. Findings revealed:

  • The handbrake is the most germ-ridden area, carrying germs that can cause skin or respiratory infections.
  • The most prominent bacteria found was Staphylococcus aureus — the effects of which can range from mild skin infections to life-threatening diseases.
  • Pathogens known to cause pneumonia and endocarditis, which can be fatal in extreme cases, were found in several areas of the vans.

Below are how the service vehicles ranked in order of dirtiness, including the tested toilet door handle:

  1. Bricklayer
  2. Builder
  3. Electrician
  4. Dog groomer
  5. Carpenter
  6. Plumber
  7. Toilet door handle

According to a survey of 500 van drivers conducted by, nearly one in 10 (8%) admit they’ll only clean the inside of their van when it starts to smell, while only one in three (29%) will empty trash from their van daily. One in seven (14%) admit to never cleaning their van at all. Furthermore, more than half (55%) of respondents admitted to eating food in their van and then leaving the half-eaten food in place for as long as three days. More than one in seven (15%) claim to leave used tissues in their van frequently. Only one in seven (14%) said they wipe the surface immediately if they sneeze.

To help keep your work vehicle more health-friendly, see these tips on deep cleaning it.

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TAGS: Construction
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