Thursday, April 7th marked World Health Day. It commemorated the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. WHO is a part of the United Nations, and picks a theme to focus on each year as a priority.
And for your company, it’s the perfect opportunity to focus on improving your employee’s health. And a simple way you can make everyone healthier at your office is through hand-washing. In the US, nearly 111 million workdays are lost because of the flu each year, says Flu.gov.
So, even in one of the most advanced societies in the world, we still struggle with having good health.
Do you track how many employee workdays get lost to preventable illness each year at your company?
What’s your estimated economic impact of that?
Fortunately, it’s not hard to at least reduce the extent of the problem. Good handwashing technique prevents the spread and contraction of illness.
Did You Know Most Employees Wash Their Hands the Wrong Way?
Lack of proper handwashing is such a problem that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines for doing it the right way. Here’s what they recommend:
- Wet your hands first with warm or cold water
- Apply soap
- Lather the front and back of your hands, under your nails, and between your fingers with soap
- Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Count to 20 or sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself in your head
- Rinse your hands with clean water
- Dry with an air dryer or clean towel
What if You Don’t Have Access to Soap and Clean, Running Water?
Occasionally, you might find yourself in a situation where you don’t have what you need to wash your hands. Alcohol-based sanitizers, with at least 60% alcohol, are the next best solution.
However, sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. So, don’t view them as a replacement for proper handwashing. Also, if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy from working on machinery, hand sanitizers’ effectiveness is likely greatly reduced.
By the way, here’s proper hand sanitizer procedure too:
- Apply the proper amount (according to the manufacturer’s instructions) to one hand
- Rub both hands together
- Rub the sanitizer over all surfaces of both your hands until both your hands are dry
Now the Difficulty Is Implementing this at Your Organization
You have the proper technique. But it can still be hard to get dozens of employees to remember to do it. Signs, verbal reminders, and showing employees how this benefits them can all help.
We’ll leave the details up to you. But for now, you know how to do this so your employees stay healthier, happier, and more productive.