Encourage Better Hand Hygiene
As facilities reopen, it's crucial to do everything possible to protect the health of members and visitors. In addition to reminding visitors to practice social distancing and wear cloth masks to protect others from transmission of viruses, you should also encourage proper hand hygiene to prevent the spread of disease.
Q: What should we know about hand hygiene?
A: Washing your hands might seem simple, but a 2013 study by Michigan University researchers estimated that as many as 95% of Americans are not doing a sufficient job.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests proper handwashing methods, including wetting hands, applying plenty of soap, complete lathering (including backs of hands, wrists and under the nails), scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, rinsing with clean water, and then thoroughly drying hands with paper towels or a warm air dryer.
Q: What can we do to encourage better hand hygiene in our facilities?
A: You might consider posting signage to remind visitors of the proper method of handwashing.
Also, consider installing touchless fixtures, such as sinks with automatic sensors and touchless hand dryers. The fewer surfaces visitors touch, the less likely germs are to spread through cross-contamination of restroom surfaces.
In addition, consider hand dryers with HEPA filtration, which have been independently tested and proven to remove 99.999% of viruses from the airstream.
An antimicrobial guard installed beneath the hand dryer is another smart choice, protecting the walls from water droplets and halting the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.
Q: What's the most hygienic solution for hand drying?
A: The WHO does not expressly recommend any specific type of hand-drying method. Indeed, A study from The Mayo Clinic found there was no statistically significant difference in efficiency among four different methods of hand-drying when it comes to removing bacteria from washed hands.
There are many myths about hand dryers, including that they "blow" germs around. The truth is that when guests wash hands properly, the spread of germs will no longer be a concern. Encouraging proper handwashing with signage can help.
Q: What else should we consider?
A: Hand dryers not only can help ensure better hand hygiene with touchless features, they also can reduce your maintenance headaches.
Paper towels can make a mess when customers don't dispose of them properly. And many customers will not dispose of them properly, as the waste receptacle is one more surface to touch. Flushing paper towels can cause clogs with messy and unsanitary results, while paper towels strewn on the floor not only make your restrooms look messy, they create additional hygiene concerns for your guests.
When you start with encouraging proper handwashing and drying, then add touchless features and other accessories that reduce the spread of germs, you'll help make your facility safer and guests more comfortable.
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