The Benefits of Hand Sanitiser in the workplace
30th August 2019
Hand sanitiser is especially useful in a workplace environment because it can prevent the spread of infection and diseases, ultimately lowering the levels of absenteeism and presenteeism.
Hand sanitiser is an agent that is applied to the hands and rubbed in to remove common pathogens/disease-causing organisms. Hand sanitisers kill many kinds of viruses such as the flu virus and the common cold virus, which regularly affect workers.
How can hand sanitiser help?
Presenteeism in the workplace is becoming a huge problem, with people who are sick still coming into work due to their workload and pressure to perform. This makes workplaces a hotbed for germs and bacteria. Sick members of staff can easily spread their illness to others when they are in a closed environment like an office or staff room, and their germs are so easily spread through coughs and sneezes. If an infected person then shakes someone’s hand or touches a surface like a doorknob, the disease will be left behind on that surface or the person’s hand.
Hand sanitiser helps to prevent this spread of disease. By providing employees with access to hand sanitiser, you can reduce the likelihood of illness in the workplace. Employers can place hand sanitiser in strategic locations such as, around high-touch surfaces and communal areas like entrances and exits, in cafeterias and break rooms, meeting rooms, employee desks, and bathrooms. Make it easily accessible and in sight. This will encourage people to use it and help prevent the spread of infections.
80% of infections are transmitted by hands. As we well know, washing our hands after using the toilet, before eating, after coughing and sneezing or after handling something dirty, is important. Washing your hands is an extremely effective way of getting rid of germs and bacteria. However, sinks and soap aren’t always readily available and even when they are you may not have the time to go and use them as often as you’d like. People don’t have the time to be going to the toilet all day every day to wash their hands, they’d never get any work done!
In between handwashing, or in the absence of sinks, hand sanitiser is a brilliant and extremely effective alternative. Hand sanitiser can be carried around in your bag or pocket, it can be put on your desk or on a till/workstation. It is easily accessible on the go or whilst you are busy. It is quick and easy to use, one little squirt, rub your hands together and you’re ready to go. It doesn’t leave your hands wet like washing them would and there is nothing you’d need to dispose of like if you used a hand wipe.
Dr. Pritish K. Tosh, MD, a Mayo Clinic infectious disease physician, said in a health.com article, “Because of their convenience and efficacy, using hand sanitisers seems like a really good idea. When you can’t make it to the sink, hand sanitisers can fight bugs, including viruses that cause colds and the flu.”
A study featured in BMC Infectious Diseases found that those office workers who were encouraged to use hand sanitiser five times in a working day were two-thirds less likely to get sick than those who only washed their hands. It concluded that providing hand sanitiser to employees was a cost-effective method of reducing the economic impact of absenteeism and presenteeism, which costs UK businesses a reported £77.5 billion a year.
Dr. Tosh noted that because it’s often easier to use hand sanitisers, people may be more likely to use it and do so more often than if someone was just to stick to washing their hands with soap and water. Even if the efficacy may be slightly lower, its overall ability to prevent infection may be greater because it’s easier to do more often.
What workplaces can benefit from the use of hand sanitiser?
In a working environment, hand sanitiser is incredibly useful. It not only helps prevent the spread of bacteria and germs that cause illnesses but it does it far faster and more efficiently than handwashing.
I am sure if you have ever been to a hospital you will have noticed there is hand sanitiser in every room and every corridor. You’ll see doctors and nurses using them religiously when they enter a room, when they leave a room and before and after helping a patient. This is because they understand the importance of preventing the spread of diseases through hands, and know that hand sanitiser is an incredibly useful way of helping to do this. It isn’t just hospitals though that can benefit, hand sanitiser is great for all kinds of workplaces, especially those in which employees come into contact with a lot of other people day to day. These can include:
- Healthcare professions e.g. hospitals, doctors’ offices or nursing homes
- Restaurants, bars, and cafes
They are also a good idea for workers who handle money, such as bankers or cashiers. After handling money, it is crucial to clean your hands, especially if you are about to consume food shortly afterward. Money is incredibly dirty and carries hundreds of microorganisms and traces of diseases. These are easily transferred to people handling the money, and if they touch their nose or mouth, they can become ill. Keeping hand sanitiser on a till or desk for workers to use in between handling money can reduce the chances of them contracting an illness.
How to use hand sanitiser
To effectively rid your hands of bacteria using hand sanitiser, experts say to place a small squirt into the palm of your hands and rub it into your hands until fully dry. Make sure to rub it over both the front and back of your hands, in between your fingers, in and around your fingernails and even around your wrists.
Kays Medical can help
Kays Medical can provide your business or organisation with our highly effective hand sanitiser. Whether you are a small office or a large airport, we can help you. Germs and bacteria are spread from person to person mostly through the hands. Therefore, it is crucial to implement an effective hand hygiene programme in the workplace. Providing hand sanitiser to your employees can help protect them from illness and infection, keeping them fit and healthy. This, in turn, will increase productivity and reduce absence, saving your business money in the long run.