One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from the flu and other contagious diseases is the simple act of hand washing. While many individuals consider this common sense, there are still plenty that haven’t mastered the art of proper hand washing technique. A 2013 Michigan State University study found that only 5 percent of people washed their hands long enough to kill infection-causing germs and bacteria.
In order to get your office to embrace the best hand washing practices, consider adding signage to the restrooms to remind staff and visitors to use soap and water.
If contagious illnesses seem to run rampant in your workplace, be sure to remind your staff about the proper way to wash their hands. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following is the best hand washing technique:
1.) Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
2.) Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3.) Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
4.) Rinse your hands well under running water.
5.) Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
When water isn't readily available, a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol will be the most effective at killing germs. Hand sanitizers placed around the office can help cut down on the spread of germs, as well.
If you believe that your workplace wellness program could significantly benefit from a health fair, we offer a hand washing education booth that is the perfect way to show employees how their hand washing technique could be improved. Our booth uses luminescent lotion that fluoresces brightly under UV illumination to show participants how easily germs can spread. Often, the results shock our participants and clearly demonstrate how the CDC's guidelines work.
Do you think your office could use a little hand washing education? Comment below.