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WORKERS could be falling ill because of the bacteria swarming on their IT equipment, a company boss has said.

Research has suggested that some computer keyboards contain more bacteria than the average toilet seat and one in six mobile phones are contaminated with faecal matter.

Peter Hann is the owner of Bournemouth-based Techclean Wessex, which cleans computer equipment, telephones, server rooms and data facilities for businesses and other organisations.

He said: “I think many of us would be appalled if we held our keyboard upside down and shook it. What you would probably have is a lap scattered with biscuit crumbs, hairs and skin flakes.

“But it’s actually the invisible contamination that you really have to worry about.”

Research by Which? found that computer keyboards contained 7,500 bacteria per swab. The average toilet seat has 5,400.

Mr Hann said: “We now routinely eat and drink at our desk.

“People also take their mobiles into the bathroom without giving a thought as to what this can transfer onto them.

“This can all contribute to diarrhoea and vomiting, food poisoning, flu and fast moving illnesses like norovirus, which can sweep through a workforce like wildfire.”

Pete added: “Having your IT equipment properly and regularly cleaned is also vital if you want to keep it running at an optimum level.

“Companies think nothing of having hundreds of pounds worth of IT on most desktops, and investing thousands on server rooms and even millions on data rooms.

“But dust alone can affect the speed and productivity of your IT systems standard cleaning techniques and daily use detergents can cause serious damage to sensitive equipment.”

His company – the regional franchise of a national firm – employs eight staff and lists clients including Porsche GB Cars Ltd, DP World Southampton and Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr Hann bought the franchise in 2014 after 25 years working for Wood BMW locally.