Surprising yet Common Employee Hand Washing Mistakes

Educating your employees on what they can do to contribute to maintaining a clean and germ-free workspace should be part of a company-wide cleaning strategy, which should augment your outsourced, Corvus Janitorial Systems cleaning program. Specifically, while our nightly crews are disinfecting, sanitizing and removing debris from high touch and contamination areas, there is a lot “day shift” can do too. According to Jonathan Frias, Regional Director of Corvus of Denver, “it’s a noticeable effect when our client partner establishes proper cleaning methods and techniques to protect their employees. Also, it really makes a big difference in terms of protecting the integrity of the building’s floors and fixtures”.

This roots down to things as simple as the proper way to wash hands. Something we all learned in kindergarten, perhaps incorrectly. A simple set of handwashing techniques can save an organization from a lot of headache. Listing the following criteria in restrooms is a great way to intervene and stop contamination in areas that have already been cleaned. Elaborating on the general handwashing sign “Employees Must Wash Hands” is a tool to ensure their hand washing process is complete and thorough. Public restrooms are filled with germs, and despite cleaning it regularly, germs will be constantly spread. The following handwashing steps will help you get ahead of the bacteria!

  1. Handwashing time: make sure you’re washing long enough: In a rushed work-day, it’s common to skimp on taking the time to wash hands long enough. Did you know that the majority of people (95%) only wash their hands for 5-10 seconds? The minimum time to wash hands should be 20-30 seconds. Try singing the ABC’s to guarantee the length of time.
  2. Thinking that Hand Sanitizer is as good as soap: The alcohol in hand sanitizers is what is thought to kill germs, although multiple factors impact the success. Applying these small volumes of alcohol to the hands is not more effective than washing with soap and water.
  3. Believing that Hot Water Kills more Germs: There is actually no evidence that hot water kills more germs than cold water! This is a common misconception. Scientists with the Joint Bank Group/Fund Health Services Department pointed out that various temperatures had “no effect on transient or resident bacterial reduction.” In fact, washing with hot water can actually increase the “irritant capacity” of some soaps, causing contact dermatitis. The usage of tepid water instead of hot water also has economic benefits. If cold feels good to you, don’t hesitate. Lukewarm is a true happy medium and will kill the same amount of pathogens!
  4. Being Guilty of Not Washing Your Hands often Enough: Are you washing when no one is looking? Don’t cheat yourself and jeopardize others out of laziness. A study from Michigan State University proved that 10% out of the 3,100 participants didn’t wash at all. It is equally important to wash after handling garbage, coming to work from the gym, or arriving after using public transportation. These are all culprits that contribute to spreading invading bacteria that the average employee isn’t thinking of.
  5. Skipping Soap Completely: Some people think that water is enough. It’s not! If you’re going to be rinsing your hands, you may as well take the nanosecond to include the soap and do the job right.
  6. Not Drying Completely: Bacteria and yeast thrive on moisture! Despite using soap and the proper temperature of water, if you don’t seal the deal by drying completely, you leave yourself susceptible to future contamination. No one wants to be a bacteria magnet!
  7. Touching Public Bathroom Surfaces Faucets and restroom counters are breeding grounds for germs. Upon completing washing your hands the right way, be sure to exit in a way to avoid instant contamination. Use a paper towel to shut off faucets and to open the door on the way out.

 
Corvus can provide you the materials and services needed to thoroughly clean office environment, but are services are so much more effective with your support.  Educate and enforce good hygiene habits. Raising awareness and encouraging employees to be mindful of the minor details will prevent sick days and future messes.