Next to having hand sanitizer in the workplace, the second most critical aspect in preventing the spread of germs is where you place the hand sanitizing station. Convenient locations throughout the facility can encourage more employees to practice good hand hygiene, preventing the spread of germs.
Proper Hand Hygiene Minimizes Employee Sick Days
The main reason that hand sanitizing stations are so essential to workplaces is to reduce the number of employees who have to call in sick each calendar year. This is especially true during cold and flu season, when germs and bacteria are more likely to spread quickly throughout the office.
By placing hand sanitizer in convenient locations around the workplace, more staff members can take advantage of this quick disinfection method, stopping the spread.
Identifying The Germ Hotspots
To understand where you should place hand sanitizer stations, it’s necessary to identify where the hotspots for transmission are likely to be. High-traffic areas carry the highest risk of germs and bacteria collecting on surfaces. This might include doorknobs, keyboards, or shared machinery.
High-traffic zones include bathrooms, break rooms, and corridors. Setting up sanitization stations at entryways to these areas encourages staff to clean their hands before or after they’ve come into contact with a high touch surface. Doing this breaks the chain of transmission.
Meeting rooms are a location where a lot of handshaking occurs, which can be problematic during flu season. Placing hand sanitizer in areas where office workers congregate in groups is an effective tactic in combating the spread of germs. It’s also useful to place some hand sanitizer dispensers on employee desks, encouraging people to disinfect if they sneeze, cough, or blow their noses.
Implementing a Hand Hygiene Program
Establishing a protocol for hand hygiene in the workplace is essential to improving workers’ health through the winter months. Encourage employees to use hand sanitizer throughout the day as part of their normal routine. You may also want to provide disinfectant wipes for cleaning shared surfaces.
To successfully implement a hand hygiene program, resources must be allocated to training and reminders. An idea for setting up these initiatives is to:
Provide training and education
For hand sanitizer to be effective, it needs to be used properly. Educating workers on when to use hand sanitizer and how much to use is extremely important.
For some people, hand hygiene has never been a part of their daily life and can take some getting used to. Investing in posters that promote hand washing and sanitizing or have information about them are useful tools to encourage this practice. Put up these visual reminders in high-traffic areas near sanitizer stations.
Create a supportive environment
Hand hygiene benefits everyone, so help your staff to see it that way. If people are mocked for taking the time to wash their hands or complain about the scent of disinfectant, this may discourage others from partaking in proper hygiene procedures.
Demonstrate that it’s in everyone’s best interest to use the hygiene facilities available through leaders’ actions in the workplace.
Hand Sanitizing is Not a Replacement For Hand Washing
Part of implementing a hand hygiene program in the workplace is taking on the responsibility to educate your workers. It’s critical for people to understand that hand sanitizer is not a replacement for soap and water.
It’s a good option when you don’t have immediate access to a sink, but if there’s a choice between the two, that’s equally convenient; hand washing is always the better choice. According to the CDC, soap and water are more effective than sanitizer at removing certain bacteria from the skin, like cryptosporidium, norovirus, and clostridium difficile.
Even though hand sanitizer can deactivate bacteria on the hands, some people don’t use it enough for it to work properly. Sanitizer is also not as useful for cleaning visible dirt off your hands and won’t eliminate harmful chemicals or pesticides.
Choosing Hand Sanitizer for the Workplace
Besides placement in suitable locations, you must also ensure that the hand sanitizer provided to workers has an alcohol content of 60%-95%. Anything less than 60% alcohol content is unlikely to kill harmful germs.
You should apply hand sanitizer to one palm and then distribute it over all surfaces of the hand (front and back). Rub it in until it’s dry for maximum benefit. If you wipe your hands before the sanitizer dries, its effectiveness at killing bacteria is reduced.
Choose ICU Productions
For implementing a hand hygiene program in the workplace, ICU Productions has your needs covered. ICU Productions offers high-quality hand sanitizers in a variety of sizes, along with soft and hard pack disinfectant wipes.
Revolutionize the cleanliness of your workplace this year with accessible PPE products from which everyone can benefit.