A quick and informal five-minute observation of the men’s restroom at O’Hare recently, it was observed that approximately four out of 10 people completely omitted the handwashing ritual, some avoiding sneaking eye contact when they left the restroom.
Some would simply wet their bathroom. fingers on the tap and get out; Maybe trying to pretend they really washed their hands. It was a very small percentage that really stopped long enough to perform proper hand washing, using soap and water, spending enough time in the sink, before leaving the bathroom.
There are some real problems when it comes to best hand hygiene practices. But some companies are working diligently to help overcome the challenges.
Important but ignored
Essity’s Essentials Initiative Survey 2018 points out that in an office, hand hygiene habits are poorer than people can believe. In the survey, 15% of respondents said they don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom; 31% do not wash their hands before eating; 50% do not wash their hands after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing.
“Hygiene is and will continue to be a crucial element of our business,” said Anna Königson Koopmans, director of the commercial segment of Essity. “We have dedicated a pillar to ‘well-being’, which focuses specifically on hygiene, health and wellness needs outside the home environment.” As Koopmans said, and as part of the Essity culture, hygiene is important for everyone, whether you are a consumer or work in a company.
“Proper hygiene allows people to meet and perform different activities in a safe environment and plays a key role in the reputation of an establishment.” Bob Berry, senior director of the towel category with GP PRO, knows how important the bathroom experience is for everyone. “It is well known that public toilets cause user complaints,” he said.
“We believe this presents an opportunity for a building or business to make a remarkable change. Yes, bathrooms are a necessity, but users do not want a poor experience that does not reflect the rest of the building.
What they really want is a home experience that includes a clean and clean-smelling environment, privacy, quality products and a guaranteed supply. ” Without all this, bathroom visitors can choose to skip the handwashing routine altogether, which they obviously are already doing, as indicated by several surveys.
No substitutions, please
It has been noted that some facilities employ the use of hand sanitizers as a semi-replacement for proper hand washing. “As an industry, we need to reinforce that the use of these products, although an important complement, is not a substitute for handwashing at facilities,” said William J. Smith, vice president of sales and marketing at National Chem Labs, Inc. “Only through the use of quality handwash products and proven procedures can we successfully prevent communicable diseases caused by bad handwashing practices.”
Others may opt for cheaper products that clean, but not clean, as well as higher quality handwash supplies. “Despite a growing trend in facilities to reduce hand cleaning costs by purchasing the lowest cost product, the use of high quality hand cleaners is of paramount importance for employees and guests in a facility,” said Smith.
“The distributors of sanitary supplies must offer their facilities high performance products that improve the comfort of employees and guests.” Dan Renner, marketing director of Kutol Products Company, agrees, with another recommendation: “We recommend using sanitary sealed dispensing systems, compared to open bulk spill systems, to eliminate the risk of product contamination leading to the spread of germs.
”Renner added that sealed refill cartridges prevent the entry of germs and bacteria and are replaced every time the dispenser is refilled.” Open systems allow germs to enter the soap container, into the reservoir. from the soap dispenser or both, “he said.”
These germs are transmitted to the user, which then spreads them throughout the facility. “Hand hygiene is an aspect of facility maintenance that directly affects the health of the occupants and guests of the building, and experts point out that shortcuts that affect proper hand washing are harmful to “It is important and recognize the impact that a bathroom can have on its final balance and make the necessary investments to ensure that the impact is positive, “Berry said.
“There are products available today that help improve hand hygiene, advance sustainability, improve cleaning staff productivity and improve the user experience. Investing in them can lead to long-term cost reductions and higher revenues. ”
Get your soap on
There are many opinions about which dispensers are best for public restroom applications. “What all facilities need are soap dispensers, paper towels and skin care products that are quiet, sensitive and reliable,” Berry said, “and accessories that are responsive and reliable as well.” No matter what dispenser you decide to include in your facilities, they have to work, 100% of the time.
“Automatic dispensers promote good hand hygiene and can prevent excessive consumption,” Koopmans said. “The dispensers must always be stocked and have the right battery to prevent them from leaving the service and reduce their impact on hand hygiene. However, it is important to keep in mind that automatic dispensers are not the best solution for all environments.
For places with a lot of traffic, a manual solution may be the best option. ” Renner also sees the need to offer automatic and manual dispensing options. “There will always be a demand for automatic dispensing systems,” he said, “especially in class A office and hospital buildings. Here you will find automatic soap and paper dispensers, as well as faucets, toilets and automated hand dryers.” costs and the environment must be considered, Renner added.
“Many facilities cannot afford expensive automatic soap dispensers. Manual dispensers are cheaper and easier to use and install. Nor do they fail or should be repaired or replaced as often as automatic dispensers. ”
In addition, Renner said that manual dispensers are more durable and ideal for industrial environments and other difficult places where dispensers, such as schools and prisons, can be abused. “It also has locations that are not suitable for electronic equipment, such as outdoors, showers or others. humid or high humidity environments, “Renner added.
But no matter what system you decide to use for your installation or company, the main point is this: make sure that the systems work and that they are always supplied with quality hand soap, so that those who visit the bathroom do not have excuses for skip what everyone is expected to do … wash your hands well after each trip to the bathroom.