Importance of Hand Sanitizer Placement in the Workplace in 2021
A general consensus regarding hygiene is that we were living in relatively uninformed euphoria prior to pandemic situations. Although we are conscious of the significance of washing hands as per norms such as after using the bathroom, or contaminated food, we are heedless to other pathogens and invisible germs present on our hands while being working or exposing to a wider environment. Adopting personal hygienic practices such as maintaining a social distance of 6 feet from others, wearing face masks and washing hands periodically are considered as the best possible measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in society.
Hand Sanitizing - An Alternative to Hand Washing
Despite the fact that the best approach to remove germs or dirt from hands is to wash hands with water, soap or cleanser but it isn’t always a feasible option especially at workplaces. According to research, only 39% of the total population have the practice of washing their hands after coughing or sneezing but in a global alarming situation of viral pandemic, it is inevitable to take precautionary measures around proper hygiene. If any employee is coughing, sneezing or getting in touch with materialistic mediums all day long at workplace environments, it’s just not viable for him to interrupt his work by leaving a seat and reaching out to wash basins in order to wash his hands frequently. So, there exists an amazing alternative “Hand Sanitizers” to deal with such overheads. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hand sanitizer is one of the best portable solutions to avoid the spread of germs or viruses.
Best Practices of Hand Sanitizing in Workplace
Throughout any given workday, employees perform numerous activities by making use of their hands (i.e. writing reports, shaking hands with clients etc.) in order to fulfill requirements of the workplace and achieve desirable goals. There is a high risk that toxic germs and bacteria are exposed to hands while carrying out routine activities. This can transform the workplace to a headquarter of germs, viruses and bacteria. So, frequent hand sanitizing in workplace should be intervened particularly after the following cases:
- Visiting a public place
- Touching tangible objects such as door knobs, elevator buttons, tables, handles, shopping carts, etc.
- Having contact with your face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth)
- Using bathrooms/restrooms
- Coughing or sneezing
- Disposing garbage or waste materials
- Using common public computers/laptops and workstations.
Strategic Points for the placement of Hand Sanitizer in Workplace
Taking into account that almost 80 percent of all infections are transmitted to others via hands, therefore it's pivotal to adhere to effective hand hygiene through “hand sanitizing in workplace”. To ensure an easy accessibility of hand sanitizing in workplace, it is crucial to place hand sanitizers always within sight of employees. The strategic contact points of hand sanitizer’s placement are mentioned below.
1- Entrances and Exits
A single doorknob could likely be the source of a widespread disease in the workplace. A new research revealed that six to seven persons are exposed to the virus within a time span of 2 - 4 hours through door knobs. Apart from disinfecting the doorknobs and high touch surfaces , hand sanitizers should be placed at focal points in order to limit the spread of virus.
2- Cafeterias and Food courts
Consuming the foods with germ-ridden hands is the main cause of several infections. So, hand sanitizers should be placed in cafeterias and food courts at prominent points.
3- Staff break rooms
One of the germiest places at workplaces is the break room. All employees socialize in this work-free zone. They carry out various relaxing activities such as most of the time taking naps, having discussions with others on hobbies or playing games. Hand sanitizer’s placement is necessary in staff break rooms.
4- Meeting Rooms
Employees, clients and other visitors quite often exchange handshakes in meeting rooms, thus transmitting germs from one another . By facilitating professional guests and co-workers with an easily accessible hand sanitizing solution, whether at the entrance of the meeting room or near the table seat, enable them to protect their hands against viruses and germs during meeting sessions.
5- Employee Desks/Tables
Desk tables, telephones and computer parts play a key role in transmission of germs from individual to individual as employees touch them on regular basis. Taking into consideration that employees invest most of their time at their tables, so tables as objects become “a hotbed of viruses”. Situating hand sanitizers at desks maintains hand hygiene within reach of employees.
6- Transaction Counters
At workplaces, almost everyone comes in contact with transaction counters everyday. Cash can be a primary source of virus transmission so it is essential to sanitize hands after dealing with cash transactions or touching counters. Keeping hand sanitizer near transaction counters recall employees and visitors to clean their hands and safeguard themselves against germs.
Selecting the Right Hand Sanitizer
Along with right placement of hand sanitizers at workplaces, it is also important to provide the high quality of hand sanitizer. Before placing hand sanitizer in the workplace, it is worth noting to ensure that hand sanitizer should be alcohol-based containing a minimum 70 percent of alcohol. The higher alcohol ratio in hand sanitizing solution will lead to an improved efficacy. Also, keep in mind that hand sanitizer that contains moisturizing elements in it, is beneficial for skin i.e. it reduces skin dryness, resultant allergic consequences and skin irritations.
In order to maintain a healthy and pleasant environment in the workplace, it is important that higher authorities and employers become mindful regarding the health of their employees. In recent times, the practice of hand sanitizing in the workplace is the foremost step towards higher productivity. Along with hand sanitization, regular cleaning and fumigation of all areas in workplaces are also essential factors to ensure a proper hygiene system. When all these measures are being assured by successful implementation, the risk associated with virus spread will be minimized to an extent; impacting overall work efficiency at personal as well as organizational level.