Hand hygiene for healthy workplaces

25th of March 2019 Article by Chris Wakefield
Hand hygiene for healthy workplaces

Chris Wakefield, vice president, European marketing and product development at GOJO Industries-Europe explains how to influence better hand hygiene behaviour to increase productivity and reduce absenteeism amongst workers, at a time when seasonal viruses are rife.

We may have enjoyed a brief spell of Spring-like temperatures recently, however the usual winter weather conditions have now resumed - and it's worth remembering that seasonal infections, such as influenza (‘flu'), norovirus and other common colds and bugs are still very much at large!

Germs thrive in closed environments where people come into constant contact with each other and can spread quickly and easily amongst office workplaces. Not only unpleasant for the sufferer, these illnesses can impact greatly on businesses, as staff take time off to recover, and subsequently hit productivity levels. Average rates of absence across Europe are between between three and six per cent of working time.

Dangerous pathogens are not only transmitted through direct contact with others, but also indirectly via hands and surfaces - did you know for example that Norovirus, otherwise known as the ‘winter vomiting bug', can survive for up to 12 days? Therefore, if just one employee comes into the office with a cold and doesn't take care to follow good hand hygiene, it is easy to see how the infection can spread around the whole workplace, before they have even come into direct contact with anyone.

Hundreds of studies have proven that good hand hygiene can break the chain of infection, helping to prevent the spread of germs and reduce the chances of getting sick in the first place. If businesses implemented proper hand hygiene systems in their workplaces, then they would not only benefit from a healthier workforce and reduced absenteeism, but by demonstrating such commitment to the well-being of their employees, they can also enhance their reputations.

At GOJO we believe in making hand hygiene second nature to everyone. For a truly successful programme, this requires a combination approach:

• Access to effective and easy to use dispensers

• Technologically advanced formulations, which are both effective against germs, yet gentle to skin

• Eye-catching signage to influence hygienic behaviour.

Given the impact on our health we believe that hand sanitising facilities, such as hygienic hand rubs, should be as commonplace in offices, shops, and other workplaces across Europe, as they are in healthcare settings. In doing this, we can enjoy a healthier germ season.


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