We all know hand hygiene is critical even if we are resuming more activities and pandemic stabilising. Hand hygiene is about practising good habits in hand washing and sanitising and adhere to optimal personal hygiene and more aware of our habits and lifestyle. Initial shares the five different ways to adopt hand hygiene and what facilities you need to provide for your premise.
Always wash hands after using a washroom
One of the most critical part of washroom hygiene is handwashing after using the washroom. Washroom is perhaps one of the most contaminated locations amongst many rooms or area in a mall, office, warehouse and hotel to name a few. This is because there are multiple touch points that harbours millions of bacteria and viruses including the following:
- Door handle of main washroom entrance and cubicle
- Toilet and urinal flush buttons
- Toilet seats and cover
- Water tap (for washrooms without auto dispenser water)
- Soap dispensers pump push button (for units without non-touch feature)
- Feminine hygiene unit or sanitary bins that requires pedal or hand lift
- Waste bins for paper towel disposal
Because of the activities, we engaged in and with the presence highly contaminated and harmful substance including faeces, urine, saliva, and other fluid, it placed us at risk of cross contamination as we come into contact and if without proper hand hygiene adhered. In addition, the sneeze effect that flushes millions of pathogen in the air quickly and covering surfaces as fast as ten minutes and ability to stay on for hours, washing hands thoroughly with soap is critical when using the washroom. To limit cross contamination and touching of surfaces, opt for the non-touch hand soap dispensers that also comes in the form of foam.
Sanitise after any interaction and contact
Hand sanitisers are easily available from retail shops or provision from commercial properties and facility management. You can consider range of mobile and pocket size sanitisers that you can carry on, or hand sanitiser dispensers that mount onto the wall, place on table and counter top or in the form of stand with pedal. Sanitisers should be of reach easily as we run into various activities and engagement. It is important to choose good quality sanitisers that eliminates 99.99^ of bacteria and germs effectively and contains at least 60% of alcohol content. Some areas you can install the sanitisers unit include:
- Entrance and exit such as next to the door
- Reception or counters when visitors approach
- In meeting rooms and conference halls
- Within the pantry where hand soaps are placed
- Exit of washrooms for additional hand hygiene
- Kitchens and canteens (for food establishments)
- High traffic locations such as lifts and common corridors
- Food processing and handling assembly lines
Keep hands dry with paper towel after washing
Are you amongst many whom are guilty of wiping your hands dry onto yourself or attempt to flick excess dripping water onto the floor? Most convenient and quickest manner to dry your hands, however, this is one of the many poor washroom habits that bring about a series of safety issues. Firstly, flicking off water makes the floor wet and slippery and especially in high traffic volume washroom, this act pose a hazard risk of slips and falls. Secondly, your clothes or your body may already be containing pathogens that is picked on else through some interaction and poor air quality. Transferring these bacteria and germs back onto your hands is not a wise hygiene recommendation.
Finally, damp hands actually possess more bacteria that dry hands and these bacteria can stay onto your hands for hours if without proper drying. Poor hygiene that leads to transmission of disease is one key factor in making us sick with flu symptoms including cough, runny nose, fever and diahhrea.
Avoid touching used towels and tissue paper
We may not be aware but we tend to have possession of used tissue papers or paper napkins in our pockets, on our hands or lying on tables and chairs. These used papers are home to germs. By lying them around in our possession, it potentially transfer these germs onto our hands. Through interactions, it may transmit through respiratory means. This is especially so if they are used to clear fluids from a cough or sneeze act, or worse of all, from a sick individual with flu and other upper respiratory symptoms. It is a good habit to always dispose these used papers into the bin and wash and/or sanitise your hands thereafter.
Do not recycle hand towels and napkins
In some homes and work environment, where hand washing activities take place namely at the washroom, pantry, kitchen and canteen, there are inadequate practices observed by placing hand towels and fabric napkin for common use and sharing. While it may be seen as the most cost economical manner in providing hand drying facilities for users, this is especially a poor act of hygiene standards where cross contamination arise through the recycling of hand towels. In addition, these damp towels harbours bacteria and germs, and possible passing on diseases if the previous order is unwell. Instead, switch to a rented hand dryer where not only it dries hands quickly, hygienic and cost efficient as compared to stocking up paper consumables.
What’s more, you can embrace corporate social responsibility by limiting the use of papers and trees. In particular, with the coronavirus, battling against this dreadful virus can be challenging as we expose to crowd and activities. Read on further on how diligent hand hygiene can keep us protected from the pandemic.
What you need to know about hand hygiene
Initial Hygiene offers a series of hand hygiene solutions including hand soap, sanitisers, dryers and paper options. Hand Soap Dispensers is one of the most basic and core hand care facility to offer in a premise. Initial caters both manual and non-touch series in either liquid or foam soap consumers. We understand the importance of hygiene. It is recommend to package hand sanitisers with soap dispensers for full optimal hand hygiene standard. Next, is to consider the different hand drying options to complete the hand care regime. There are options including pressure jet, hand drying air and paper towel dispensers. The cost of these washroom facilities is dependent on a few factors:
- The traffic flow of the washroom during peak and non-peak
- Consumption rate of consumables such as the soap and paper
- Nature of business, for instance a retail mall, commerce office or food manufacturing
- Type and quality of dispenser units and its consumable such as liquid versus foam soap
- Provision of sensing technology to heighten safety standards
- Coating of units with antimicrobial element to prevent cross contamination
- Quality of washroom hygiene solutions provider in terms of brand, quality, safety
Implications of contaminated hands
Think through the many activities and actions we engage in daily. Firstly, we may need to look after infants that deals with waste or sick patients that may transmit pathogens during the caring process. Secondly, we can be dealing with unhygienic activities such as managing trash and housekeeping. Thirdly, outdoor activities and contact surfaces that are not sanitised and disinfection is another risk consideration. Visiting washrooms that is among many locations that has poor sanitation standards. Finally, group activities and outings that require physical interaction from person to person increase cross contamination opportunity. With these ongoing activities, this means:
- Transferring disease-causing microorganisms from one point to another such as surfaces to hands or other body parts
- Passing on pathogens through respiratory means including nose and mouth
- Compromised food safety where contamination and food poisoning may occur
- Financial implications and business disruptions resulting from poor food handling
- Negative brand image and customer reviews for food establishment
- Challenged productivity and work efficiency due to absenteeism resulting from cross contamination
Do you know, damp hands actually spread 1,000 times more bacteria? These bacteria can remain on your hands as long as three hours without any hygiene intervention. To put time into perspective, one bacteria can generate 2,097,152 bacteria in seven hours. This is the amount of time spent at work!
However, it is not just going into the motion of dispensing soap onto your palms and rinsing them with water. Hand washing comprises a 20-seconds step covering from palm, in between fingers and the fingertips thoroughly. Be sure to foam, soap all parts of your hand with both palm facing up and down. Lastly, rinse them off with water completely.
Contact Initial Singapore your washroom hygiene specialist at (65) 6347 8138 for professional washroom solutions and services tailored for your business needs.