Today is ‘Save Lives Clean your Hands’ day, created to promote awareness and improve hand hygiene worldwide. Washing your hands seems like such an everyday action and many of us will give handwashing little thought at home or at work, but poor handwashing technique is an open door for bacteria and viruses to spread, especially on door handles, computer keyboards, telephones and in communal areas like kitchens and staff rooms. Simply providing good handwashing facilities, and ensuring they are kept clean and fully stocked can go a long way to minimising the spread of workplace illness.
In hospitals and healthcare facilities however, the importance of correct handwashing technique is vital to prevent the spread of deadly Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI); in a business environment, organisations have a duty to provide suitable and effective handwashing facilities.
Are your handwashing facilities up to muster? Does your cleaning service understand and comply with the relevant regulations? It may surprise you to know that some washrooms generate hazardous waste, and these must be cleaned and cleared by comprehensively trained staff and by a company licenced to remove and dispose of it. Your current cleaning company should be able to advise you on this.
Handwashing practice and techniques seems like a topic too obvious to broach with your personnel, but a refresher course in how to do it will often show people how they have been doing it wrong. The NHS in England has produced this excellent page that describes the process and importance of effective handwashing here.
Today should be the one day in the year when you remind everyone to wash their hands, and wash their hands correctly; and today is the one day in the year when you should perhaps review the state of your office washroom and consider whether it is promoting or holding back good hygiene.