Great tips for promoting Hand Hygiene in Your Facility

Encouraging proper steps for hand-washing and drying, along with using the right products, can be a very important help in germ prevention

High-touch surfaces are the easiest way for germ transmission. Like refrigerator handles, doorknobs, desks, storage areas, and especially restrooms. Because are not frequently cleaned. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid contagion and the spread of germs. It has been an integral part of infection prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to be an essential public health measure.

Knowing how and when to wash your hands is more important than ever as germs and viruses continue to spread throughout facilities. Following the proper steps for handwashing and drying, along with using the right products, is key to mitigating the spread of germs and avoiding skin irritation.

Tips for a successful hand-washing protocol

Proper hand-washing includes using soap and warm water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds to remove germs. Done correctly, hand-washing can reduce the occurrence of respiratory illnesses by up to 21%, the CDC reports.  To encourage hand-washing, facilities should ensure soap is always available in restrooms, kitchens, and near all sink areas. Consider touchless soap and paper towel dispensers to encourage proper hand hygiene practices, offer a sanitary environment, and promote a positive brand image.

Warm water and soap are not always readily available, especially near high-touch surfaces such as registration desks or elevators. In these instances, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or mask; when entering and leaving a public place; or when coming into contact with high-touch surfaces is recommended by the CDC. Facilities can utilize desktop or standing dispensers to make sanitizer more accessible.

Drying is not an option!

It’s easier for germs to transfer to wet hands, which is why it’s critical to thoroughly dry with a clean, disposable paper towel to maximize the benefits of handwashing. Research, including a 2018 study published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, found hand dryers can spread germs throughout a restroom. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Cintas, 69% of surveyed Americans prefer to use paper towels over air dryers in public restrooms. One of the top reasons cited for this preference was that paper towels provide something to open the restroom door with.

Consider gentle hygiene products

When choosing hand care products, facility managers should consider those that contain skin conditioners instead of harsh chemicals. In facilities that require antibacterial hand cleansers, use an antibacterial gel or foaming hand soaps that are formulated with mild ingredients. Facilities such as schools, daycare centers, restaurants, and hotels should invest in moisturizing hand soaps and sanitizers that are gentle for everyday use.

Give a standing ovation for hand hygiene

As hand hygiene remains a critical step in preventing the spread of germs, facilities must provide products that ease the handwashing process while keeping skin intact. Offering soaps and sanitizers that are mildly formulated with skin conditioners, along with innovative dispensers designed to keep restrooms stocked, can positively affect customer perception and slow the spread of germs throughout facilities.

Source: CMM Online