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Help Make Hand Hygiene Contagious

07 July 2011

“EHEC, MRSA, Avian H5N1, Brisbane H3N2 and Swine H1N1” are all terms that we are familiar with, but with the continual reporting of such outbreaks are we becoming desensitised to this ever-present threat? Midlands based hygiene experts, Deb Limited, highlights the importance that the role of good hand hygiene practice has to play in preventing the spread of these increasingly common germs.

It is known that enclosed environments, where people who are working or interacting in close proximity with one another, whether in the community, workplace or public facility are at a higher risk of the spread of germs; particularly those who deal with the public, handle money and regularly commute on public transport.

But, as separate washroom studies, from around the world, show that 1 person in every 5 is walking around with unwashed hands, implementing and maintaining appropriate hand hygiene practices is going to be a daily challenge as there are inconsistent hand hygiene habits across the population. However, employers have a responsibility to provide adequate skin care facilities for all employees and addressing hand hygiene is an important part of this responsibility.

So, what can employers do to educate the importance of adopting good hand hygiene practices? 

Employers can encourage good hand hygiene practice by providing easy-to-understand awareness materials such as posters, stickers for use in the washrooms, on floors, mirrors and doors as well as reminders on company intranets of the importance of keeping hands clean.

Phil Spark, Marketing Director at Deb advises: "Organisations can work with their washroom services suppliers to create a communications campaign to educate staff and visitors alike why they should keep their hands clean. Free downloadable posters are readily available from established suppliers to help promote good hand hygiene practices."

Employers can also set an example, to ensure high standards of hand hygiene, by not only providing adequate hand washing facilities but through promoting the use of a fast-acting, alcohol hand sanitiser that will quickly and effectively kill germs and therefore reduce the spread of bacteria.

A hand sanitiser should compliment routine hand washing and be reapplied every 2-3 hours and certainly immediately after coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces or items likely to have been contaminated. It is particularly important to use a sanitiser prior to consuming food.

Finally, organisations can provide ‘hand hygiene on the move’ by supplying a handy personal issue sanitiser.

So, whatever the working environment, by having a systemised approach to skin care, combined with programmes to educate employees about their skin, employers can provide a simple yet cost effective solution to help all employees adopt good hand hygiene practices as part of their everyday routine.

Contact: Deborah Freeman MCIPR – PR & Corporate Communications Manager

Email:

deborah.freeman@deb.co.uk

Web:

www.debgroup.com

Tel: +44 (0)1773 855134


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