Survey exposes handwashing habits in the workplace

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fifty-six per cent of American workers report they have seen co-workers skip handwashing when leaving the restroom, according to Bradley Corporation’s 2018 Handwashing Survey.

But as the cold and flu season approaches, hygiene is expected to improve as handwashing continues to be Americans’ first defence against illness. Sixty-one of the respondents make it a point to wash their hands more frequently to avoid getting germs or passing them onto others.

To restrict their exposure to illness workers also admit to consciously avoiding sick individuals, and not shaking sick people’s hands. Besides ramping up handwashing in warm water, medical experts advise people to drink more fluids, take preventative supplements, get more sleep and avoid touching the face, mouth and nose in order to reduce the risk of falling sick.

A majority of the 1,035 people surveyed believe the condition of workplace restrooms is an indicator of how a company values its employees. Forty-two per cent of the survey respondents complained about undesirable experiences in their restroom.

“For employees – and the general public – the condition of restrooms is a litmus test for businesses and establishments,” said Jon Dommisse, director of global marketing and strategic development at Bradley Corporation.

Employees said they have encountered clogged and unflushed toilets, unpleasant smells, paper towels on the floor and restrooms that are old, dirty and unkempt. Air freshener is at the top of employees’ wish list of amenities to be added to their workplace restroom, followed by touchless fixtures and hand sanitizer.

However, when respondents were asked about their handwashing habits in public only two-thirds  said they “always” wash their hands after using a public restroom and 38 per cent reported they “frequently” see others leave a public restroom without washing.

“These statistics point to an increasing number of people who aren’t cleaning their hands when they’re in public places,” Dommisse said. “No matter where you are – at home, at work or out-and-about – hand washing is a must. Diligent washing with soap and water is a simple and effective way to remove sickness-causing germs and bacteria that we’re exposed to throughout the day.”

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