Workplace washroom habits

25th of November 2010
Workplace washroom habits

How willing are you to use the toilet at your workplace? And how good are the various European nationalities at washing their hands after using the toilet? Washroom systems brand Tork from SCA Tissue Europe examined how seven European countries compare for its Toilet Barometer survey - carried out to coincide with World Toilet Day this month.

In a survey carried out by Easyresearch/Questback on behalf of Tork, 2,500 people aged 20 to 64 were questioned in Finland, Belgium, Germany, England, France, Poland and Sweden.

Hand to mouth

The percentage who wash their hands after using the toilet was high in most countries - 89 per cent in England, Germany and Finland; 87 per cent in Sweden; 86 per cent in Poland; 76.5 per cent in France and 76 per cent in Belgium.

"Good hand hygiene is crucial if you want to stay healthy," said Rolf Andersson, senior scientist at SCA. "If you have bacteria on your hands they can easily get into your mouth. In the toilet, the flush, the light switch, the taps and the door handle are the places where there are often a lot of bacteria."

Those taking part were then asked whether the toilet at their workplace often seems dirty. Here France came top at 48 per cent, followed by Belgium (40 per cent), Poland (37 per cent), Germany (35 per cent), England (35 per cent), Sweden (22 per cent) and Finland (10 per cent).
"Cleaning is of course important. You find bacteria where there is dirt. It is especially important to clean handles, flushes, light switches and taps with a cleaning agent and to empty the waste bins regularly," added Rolf Andersson.

The survey also covered issues such as what the most important facilities within the washroom are (soaps, hand drying, etc), and whether washroom users are worried about being infected by various diseases when using workplace toilets. Andersson responded to this by assuring: "When using a public toilet you don't need to worry about being infected, for example, by a cold virus or venereal disease, provided you wash your hands. Salmonella, on the other hand, is extremely infectious."

For more details of the survey visit


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