Hand Hygiene & Hand Sanitizer – Preventing Covid 19 Risk in the Workplace

Business owners realize that it takes time to put hand hygiene measures in place and train their staff to execute those precautions. As a business owner or facility manager your goal is to reopen your business safely. Hand hygiene is one of the most powerful tools we can use to protect employees and customers in the workplace.

Even with the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccination we may still need precautions such as temperature scanning, hand sanitizing, mask wearing and social distancing. Hand sanitizing & handwashing are crucial to keeping your workers and your customers safe from Covid-19 infection risk.

Why Hand Hygiene is Important to Reduce Infection Risk

"One of the most common ways of transmitting disease is actually our hands. So, keeping your hands clean and sanitizing your hands often is an extremely effective way of preventing disease transmission".
Dr. Daniel Refai of Atlanta, Georgia explains why hand hygiene protects from diseases, "We know that hand sanitization is a very effective way of preventing disease or illness. This is not only with viruses such as Covid-19 or influenza but also with bacteria. As physicians and as human beings, one of the most common ways of transmitting disease is actually our hands. So, keeping your hands clean and sanitizing your hands often is an extremely effective way of preventing disease transmission". He also believes that, "we're going to have to come to terms with having new social norms. Hand sanitization, wearing masks social distancing and temperature screening are probably going to be with us for a very long time".

People often touch their faces and eyes many times each day, often without thinking about it. Any bacteria or viruses can then easily enter our nose, eyes or mouth to cause an infection. This is why hand sanitizing is so crucial to protecting you customers and your employees in the work place.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, training your staff on the proper steps to prevent reinfection is your best defense against having your business shut down by Covid-19 infections. You can use these guidelines to proper handwashing and hand sanitizing to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection for your workers and for your customers. By training your workers to practice cleaning their hands several times a day, you will take a major step towards keeping your business open during the pandemic.

The coronavirus can get on your hands and items you touch throughout the day. When your hands may be dirty it's best to wash with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains 60 percent to 90 percent alcohol. Here are some methods to make sure your hands are virus free.

CDC Procedure for Handwashing

During the Covid 19 Pandemic we learned about the importance of stopping the spread of Covid 19 and other respiratory illnesses. Hand hygiene is one of our most important methods for preventing the spread of the coronavirus that causes Covid 19.
Here are tips for an effective handwashing method from the CDC.

  1. Wash your hands under clean running water. Either warm water or cold water are both effective. Now apply some soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Scrubbing for 20 seconds will make sure that the soap destroys the virus and bacteria on your hands. If you scrub for less than 20 seconds there will still be traces of bacteria and virus left on your hands.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean running water.
  5. Dry your hands using clean towel or air dry them.

How to Use the IntelliStart Station Hand Sanitizer

    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended if soap and water are not available.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is faster and more convenient compared to handwashing with soap and water especially in a healthcare setting.
    • In your business or workplace you can help workers to remember to clean their hands frequently by placing hand sanitizer close to high touch surfaces. This includes areas that are frequently touched such as doors, counters, computers, telephones, machinery controls or cash registers.
    • The CDC recommends that Alcohol-based hand sanitizer contains 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol.
    • Especially among restaurant workers and healthcare workers hand sanitizer may be better tolerated than handwashing with soap and water. In these settings handwashing is required on a frequent basis and may lead to dry hands.
    • Alcohol-based hand rubs kill bacteria including antibiotic resistant bacteria and tuberculosis bacteria. 90 percent alcohol hand sanitizers are more effective against viruses such as coronavirus than most other forms of handwashing.
    When we look at commercially available bottles of hand sanitizer, these help to reduce the coronavirus spread by human hands. Unfortunately, these bottles typically hold less than a quart and have to be refilled or replaced daily, depending on the traffic entering the business. These bottles can be stolen or may become clogged during use. The fact that everyone touches the hand pump also poses another virus contamination hazard.

    Several companies have tried to combine hand sanitizing and temperature scanning into an automated solution. The most interesting is a combined temperature scanner and hand sanitizer called the IntelliStart Station.

    The IntelliStart Station overcomes hand sanitizer problems with it's touchless design. The person being tested just inserts their hands into the loop. The scanner measures their body temperature and then quickly displays a green light signal if they are clear to enter the building. A red light indicator tells customers that they need to wait to be screened with further questions. Finally, the customer receives a measured squirt of hand sanitizer.
    Hand sanitizer is delivered through medical-grade pumps and tubing that are controlled by intelligent software. The hand sanitizer control system prevents clogging and contamination of the hand sanitizer fluid. A locked container holds up to 1 gallon of hand sanitizer. With enough sanitizer to treat up to 6,000 hands, restaurant employees won't waste time with frequent refills. The system even notifies the staff when it needs to be refilled. Using a Wi-Fi connection the restaurant owner can track how many people may have an elevated temperature and other analytics. The data from the system can be used to help form healthy habits for hand sanitizing and temperature scanning for the employees.
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