Wash your hands. It sounds simple enough, right? In actuality, only one in three American adults washes his hands properly and frequently enough. Are you the one in three? Or are you one of the other two who will hopefully be converted after reading this blog?
There are tons of gross statistics I could bore you with (seriously, Google “gross facts about hand washing” and you will never want to shake hands with anyone again), but I prefer the proactive approach. The best thing you can do for your facility to ensure people are washing their hands is actually two-fold. First, make sure you keep paper towel and soap dispensers filled. If you have hand dryers, please seriously consider changing them out for towels. Studies have been done that show people are less likely to wash their hands because they don’t care for hand dryers AND that hand dryers can actually spread germs by blowing them off the one person’s hands and into the air. Secondly, just posting a reminder about hand washing can increase the number of people who hand wash at your facility by almost 45%. If you are looking for a chart to laminate and post, you may want to download this one: How_To_HandWash_Poster.
As a facilities manager, you want your team, your customer’s employees and your site’s guests to be washing their hands regularly. Why? Because when illness spreads, as it so often does at this time of year, you and your team will be the ones doing damage control. If a viral outbreak occurs at your site, you will need to stop your regular cleaning and switch gears to disinfection and possibly work on putting a quarantine plan into effect on site. No one wants compound their already full schedules with extra work, especially around the holidays. And then what if someone on your team gets sick from cleaning a disinfected area? This will put added stress on your team.
London researchers estimate the one million deaths could be prevented annually if everyone washed their hands properly several times throughout the day. Doesn’t taking the time to stock dispensers and hang a few placards sound like a more than fair exchange for healthier hands and ultimately, lives?