When asked, most people will tell you they know hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses, including the coronavirus. They’ll also tell you, “yes,” they always wash their hands after using the restroom and before handling food. However, many studies have found that people don’t wash their hands as often as they report, and people who actually do wash their hands regularly are probably not doing a thorough job.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever to implement proper hand washing procedures in your workplace. Here’s how to implement a hand washing program that works.
Benefits of Good Hand Washing
Medical experts agree that good hand washing is the No. 1 tip for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. And recent studies support the call from doctors to wash our hands more frequently throughout the day. Researchers found that people who washed their hands 6-10 times a day had a lower risk of coronavirus infection, so lather up!
Creating a good hand washing policy for your business is an excellent way to ensure your employees are washing their hands well and regularly during their shifts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guide to hand washing, here are the steps everyone should be following:
- • Wet hands under running water
- • Apply soap
- • Scrub the front and back of your hands and in between fingers while counting to 20 seconds or singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice
- • Rinse thoroughly
- • Dry completely with paper towels or air dry
You can print the CDC’s instructions and post them in restrooms, restaurant kitchens, bar areas, and any other place you think it’s appropriate in your business.
The most common mistake many of us make is not washing long enough. The average person washes their hands for only six seconds, while the CDC recommends washing for a full 20 seconds to get the maximum benefit.
Paper Towels vs. Hand Dryers
Drying hands completely is the important final step of an effective hand washing policy. Some public restrooms have done away with paper towels completely, and you only have the option to use an air dryer. Many experts now say that’s a bad idea.
A recent study found hand dryers could spread bacteria that’s hanging in the air in public restrooms. That’s because when a toilet is flushed, it shoots millions of microscopic water particles several feet in every direction. These water particles can contain bacteria and germs, including the coronavirus. It lands on all bathroom surfaces, including sinks, faucets, counters, and doorknobs.
The spray (and germs) can also hang in the air for more than a minute. This means an air dryer is using contaminated air to dry your hands. The germs can also contaminate your clothing and other parts of your body hit by the stream of air! It could also put your business at greater risk of an outbreak.
The air dryer vs. paper towel debate has been going on since the hand dryer was put on the market nearly 100 years ago. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed this debate back to the forefront of restroom hygiene, with many experts agreeing that paper towels are the safer option.
Stay Stocked and Save Money
With more people washing their hands and hopefully doing a better job, you’ll want to keep your business stocked with supplies. Enviro-Master’s Hand Hygiene Program can keep your business stocked with antibacterial soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. In many cases, our program actually saves businesses money. We also have dispensers for all of our products and will maintain your equipment weekly.
Give us a call today to learn how we can support your company’s hand washing policy. We can also give you more information about the commercial cleaning services we offer to protect the health and safety of your business. Contact us at 1-833-GERMPRO (1-833-437-6776).