It’s that time of year again, when everyone, everywhere seems to be catching a cold. Hands are the main carriers of disease-causing germs and keeping them cleaning is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid becoming ill. With winter in full flow, businesses can help stop the spread of germs throughout the office by taking hand hygiene seriously.
It’s particularly easy to pick up germs and viruses at work, you work closely with others, use the same coffee machine and toilets, meaning that poor hygiene will inevitably cause the spread of germs, leading to increased illness and sick days. 80% of all infections are transmitted by hand and regular handwashing with soap is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of germs. Washing hands regularly with soap and water could reduce the numbers of people catching colds by up to 45%
Employee sick days are currently estimated to cost UK businesses £1.3billion every year. However, if you implement an effective hand hygiene programme, you will start to see positive changes, such as heightened productivity, less employee sick days and higher levels of staff morale, making it more important than ever to ensure your staff practice an effective hand washing routine.
Hand washing isn’t something the average person gives too much thought to. It’s standard practice before handling food, eating, or after visiting the toilet – run a tap, apply some soap, rub, rinse and dry.
But is that enough? Here are four reasons you should make hand washing a more frequent habit.
1.Hands are the main carriers of disease-causing germs
Consider the number of objects we touch with our hands every day. Money, door handles, switches, keyboards, handrails and steering wheels are just a few examples of bacterial breeding grounds, with which we have frequent daily contact. So, it makes good hygienic sense to wash your hands often as realistically possible.
There isn’t a more cost-effective solution to providing health benefits than washing your hands with soap. It’s cheap, easily attainable and most importantly kills germs.
3.A healthy environment
If you wash your hands with soap, especially after visiting the toilet and before touching food, you’re choosing to create a healthier environment not only for yourself but for everyone around you. Healthy and thoughtful with one simple action!
4. Prevention is better than cure
Taking the appropriate measures to prevent yourself from infection is undoubtedly preferable to falling ill and having to treat the condition. During flu season especially, users of public washrooms should make a conscious effort to be as hygienic as possible. It takes under 30 seconds to adequately wash your hands, (the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice), so surely a good hand washing habit is better than missed working days suffering with a cold or flu, for you and your employer.