We recently blogged about the changing seasons, the upcoming winter months and tips for surviving winter in the workplace . One major problem with the onset of the colder weather is the rise in coughs and colds, and the need to try and prevent the spread of the germs that cause them.
This week we’ve decided to look at how hand hygiene has an important role to play in any workplace environment, especially schools and healthcare settings.
The impact of hand hygiene
Hand washing is a simple and effective way to kill bacteria and viruses on our hands and prevent their spread to other employees. The CDC suggests that “promoting clean hands (in a corporate setting) results in fewer employee sick days”.
Effective hand washing helps to prevent diarrhoeal and respiratory illnesses such as colds. Check out more information on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If this is the case, then the impact of good hand hygiene cannot be underestimated. If fewer people are off work sick, then the impact upon the business is minimized, and productivity will not be so severely affected. Interestingly, the CDC also highlighted another important point which we hadn’t thought about before; those employees with children, should also teach them about effective handwashing techniques and the importance of handwashing, to ensure the health of the whole family and increase work productivity.
How to Improve Hand Hygiene Practice in the Workplace
If hand hygiene is the most cost effective infection control measure in the workplace, then how can it be optimized?
- Make advance preparations – ensure stock is kept well maintained especially ahead of the colder months
- Consider an education session with employees about the importance of hand hygiene, when to clean hands and the correct technique and length of time to spend washing.
- Highlight the dirtiest areas of the workplace – it’s not just the toilet. Depending on what literature you read, figures vary on the amount of men and women who don’t wash hands after using the bathroom – but what about touching the desks, keyboards, door handles or coffee cups?
- Ensure good handwashing facilities which are well maintained. Choose the correct paper hand towel and paper hand towel dispenser for your workplace to ensure cost effectiveness, and provide a soap dispenser and check them regularly.
- Provide hand sanitizer . In other areas of the workplace, hand sanitiser is an effective way to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Prompt employees to wash hands by putting up hygiene signs in targeted areas around the workplace. Signs are available for correct hand washing technique, and also to remind staff of the reason why hand washing is so important.
It seems like a self explanatory topic to discuss, but effective handwashing is paramount to the reduction in sickness both at home and in the workplace. Simple measures taken to improve technique and highlight the importance, could really maintain workplace health and therefore productivity, especially over winter months and ‘flu season’.
Here at Loorolls, we pride ourselves to being a leading stockist of disposable paper products & toilet supplies and a supplier of janitorial & cleaning products nationwide. You can open a trade account online to enjoy bulk discounts or call us on 0151 342 2111 for bigger discount on your first order.