World Hand Hygiene Day is on May 5, and it marks the second year of increased awareness about the need for diligence in the home and in facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most common viruses are easily spread by hand, and knowing when and how to wash hands can help minimize the spread of germs.
Ahead of the World Health Organization’s World Hand Hygiene Day “Seconds Save Lives” campaign on May 5, Cintas Corporation is offering hand hygiene best practices for businesses.
“Everyone plays a role in helping to prevent the spread of illness with proper hand hygiene,” said Christiny Betsch, Marketing Manager, Cintas. “Providing the necessary tools helps promote a healthier environment and shows employees, customers and other building occupants that facilities take hand hygiene seriously.”
Hand hygiene essentials that facilities may wish to consider include:
- Placing hand sanitizer stands in high-traffic areas: Making hand sanitizer readily available in high-traffic areas can help remind and encourage customers, employees, and others to clean their hands regularly. Consider installing hand sanitizer stands near entrances to help prevent germs being brought in and out of facilities.
- Choosing products carefully: Some hand soap and hand sanitizers contain skin-irritating ingredients, which can lead to skin disorders like irritant contact dermatitis (ICD). Choosing products made with mild ingredients and without harmful chemicals helps lessen this issue.
- Implementing touchless features: Installing automatic hand sanitizer, hand soap, and paper towel dispensers in washrooms limits direct contact with surfaces. This helps reduce the risk of spreading illness and addresses heightened public concerns for cleanliness.
- Equipping washrooms with paper towels: It’s important to remember that poor drying techniques can easily compromise freshly washed hands. Studies have shown that hands dried with air dryers are more likely to contaminate surfaces than those dried with paper towels. Provide paper towels near exits so patrons can use paper towels to open doors without compromising clean hands.
- Keeping washrooms appropriately stocked: A lack of washroom supplies makes it more difficult to follow proper hand hygiene protocols, and it’s also a common customer complaint. Make sure to find a steady, reliable supplier of washroom essentials, including hand soap, paper towels, and toilet paper.
Touchless facilities the barometer of cleanliness
The importance of touchless features has been a particularly growing topic in recent months, and it seems it affects the public’s perception of clean.
According to a survey commissioned by Sofidel, three in five Americans (60 per cent) say automated paper towel dispensers in public washrooms would improve their perception of a facility’s cleanliness.
The survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll from April 14-16, 2021 among 2,050 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, also found that 53 per cent of Americans say that no-touch mechanical paper towel dispensers would improve their perception of a facility’s cleanliness. Nearly half (44 per cent) also say door tissue dispensers near washroom exits would also improve their perceived level of overall facility cleanliness.
Automatic flush toilets and automated, hands-free faucets would elicit improved perceptions of facility cleanliness for 65 per cent of Americans, and almost three in five (59 per cent) say their perception would improve with the presence of automated hand sanitizer dispensers.
“Restrooms are small spaces that make a big impact on how people view an entire facility. The pandemic has also increased demand for higher levels of cleanliness throughout facilities,” said Fabio Vitali, vice president, marketing, Sofidel. “This data shows that designing restrooms with fewer touchpoints can enhance customer perceptions of facilities’ cleanliness. In turn, this supports brand loyalty, customer referrals and the bottom line.”