Why Wash Your Hands?
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.
Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhoea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds) Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues. Reducing the number of these infections by washing hands frequently helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics—the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Handwashing can also prevent people from getting sick with germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and that can be difficult to treat.
When & How to Wash Your Hands?
Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
When You Should Wash Your Hands in the Workplace?
- Each and every time you use the washroom
- Before and after staff meeting especially if food is being served
- Before, during, and after lunch
- After scanning or reading magazines or newspapers left in common areas.
- After using a colleague’s keyboard or desktop
- After using a colleague’s phone
- After changing nappies
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching rubbish/waste
How Should You Wash Your Hands?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- 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.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
How do I Wash my Hands if I do not have Soap & Clean Water?
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals.
Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
How do you use hand sanitizers?
- Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label before applying).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
Did you know the 5 most common ways germs can be spread?
- Nose, mouth, or eyes to hands to others: Germs can spread to the hands by sneezing, coughing, or rubbing the eyes and then can be transferred to other staff, employees including family members or friends. Simply washing your hands can help prevent such illnesses as the common cold or eye infections.
- Hands to food: Usually germs are transmitted from unclean hands to food by an infected food preparer who didn’t wash his or her hands after using the toilet. The germs are then passed to those who eat the food. This is easily prevented by always washing your hands after using the toilet and before preparing food items.
- Food to hands to food: Germs are transmitted from raw foods, such as chicken, to hands while preparing a meal. The germs on the hands are then transferred to other uncooked foods, such as salad. Cooking the raw food kills the initial germs, but the salad remains contaminated.
- Infected employees/staff: Germs can be passed from one person to another for example diarrhoea can easily spread to other people if the person infected doesn’t immediately wash his or her hands.
- Animals to people: Wash your hands after petting animals or touching any surfaces they come into contact with.
For all your hand washing requirements from soap & sanitisers to hand drying options speak to one of the Principal Hygiene team.
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