The common cold, the flu, a stomach bug, chills, an aching body, sore throat, and a runny nose… These are things we’d all prefer not to experience. Imagine saving your days off for enjoyment instead of staying home while you or your family recover from illness. Just imagine, a world without other people’s sick-days adding to your already busy workload. Only if, right?
In addition to the less than pleasant personal experiences of short-term illnesses, SHRM, The Society For Human Resource Management, also details the harm illnesses wreak in the workplace. Employee absenteeism is one of the most common workforce problems in today’s workplace. Not only do illnesses generate added costs, but they also destroy workforce morale and productivity.
While it certainly would be wonderful if these common ailments were suddenly a thing of the past, we’re not quite there yet.
Keep Away From Me
Unfortunately, the germs that lead to sickness aren’t visible on surfaces. This makes it particularly difficult when educating children, but there are best practices that can be incorporated into everyday life that will help.
Refrain from touching your face – According to the CDC, studies have shown people touch their eyes, nose, and mouth 25 times per hour thus transferring germs into the body.
Properly washing hands –Tips from the CDC for proper hand washing include when to wash, how to wash, and what to use to effectively wash your hands.
Maintain a strong immune system –Your body can better fight off illness when you maintain a healthy diet and get regular recommended exercise and daily recommended sleep.
The Silver Bullet
Misconceptions about hand soaps and hand sanitizers lead to confusion about which products are effective and should be used in certain environments. When making product selections, particularly in facilities outside the home, it is important to remember there is no such thing as a "silver bullet” that does everything. Below are considerations when choosing a facilities hand soap system:
- Skip the antibacterial hand soaps – In 2016 the final ruling by the FDA is that antibacterial products are not proven to be more effective than soap and water. In addition, there are questions about negative health effects.
- While hand sanitizers are acceptable for use in the absence of soap and water, washing with soap and water remains the most effective option.
- Hand moisturizers help to improve the experience for some users. In certain environments users are required to wash frequently, and hands can become dry and uncomfortable. The addition of moisturizers can help to improve the experience for staff, guests, students, and others.
- Organizational review with tools like Action’s SmartSite Analysis™ ensure that your program achieves performance goals and provides optimal cost-in-use.
More Than Just Hand Washing
In addition to staff training, cleaning practices, and the wholesale cleaning supplies used in a facility, hand soap systems provided by a janitorial supply company are an important part of a building’s health and safety program. By informing occupants and guests of handwashing best practices and providing the correct hand washing solution, any organization can improve occupants’ health and effectively manage the bottom line.