The government and media have made one thing during the COVID-19 pandemic very clear, washing and sanitising your hands is extremely important and should be done frequently. So how often is 'frequently' - we consider just how often an employee might need to wash/sanitise their hands.
When are we advised to wash our hands?
According to the NHS, employees should wash or sanitise their hands:
• Before and after handling raw foods, such as meat and vegetables
• Before eating or drinking
• After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose
• Before and after treating an open cut or wound
What other information is there?
In light of the pandemic, however, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend that employees should wash their hands:
• After handling pet food
• After caring for someone who is vomiting or has diarrhoea
• After handling garbage
Should you also have a policy to help employees?
If you work within the hospitality industry you may ask employees to wash their hands every 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you manage an office where employees work independently you may seek to ask them to wash or sanitise their hands before/after they touch a communal surface, such as the office printer.
Some employees may feel anxious about returning to work, ensuring you encourage colleagues to clean their hands as often as is sensible, may help them to feel more comfortable about returning to the workplace.
How can you encourage this?
Both hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial handwash are effective elements of a virus mitigation system. You may wish to place a hand sanitation station at the entrance to your workplace, to avoid employees having to walk through a workplace and open multiple doors to reach a bathroom or sink. As an employer it is your responsibility to ensure the best possible level of safety at work and that includes virus mitigation steps.
Remember education helps mitigation
When back in the hustle and bustle of the workplace, it can become easy for employees to forget to wash and sanitise their hands as often as required. Ideally place posters around the office that act as visual reminders for employees.
We offer a wide range of sanitiser stations as well as gels to help ensure hygiene remains a priority in the workplace.