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The heightened awareness surrounding the transmission of germs via hand-to-surface contact has become significantly pronounced in recent times. Recognising that our collective health security is as fragile as its most vulnerable component has driven best practice adoption among various enterprises, as they resume or plan to resume operations.

The global crisis triggered by COVID-19 has not only emphasised the importance of good hand hygiene but also necessitated ongoing education to uphold such practices.

This guide leans on the most current advice from the UK Government and relevant bodies, focusing primarily on hand hygiene while acknowledging its symbiosis with regular surface cleaning and disinfection.

As businesses gear up for reopening, enhancing handwashing and sanitising frequency and availability becomes crucial. But what concrete measures can be implemented to realise this goal?


Government Guidelines for Hand Hygiene

To aid different sectors in welcoming back their workforce while adhering to social distancing protocols, the Government has rolled out specific guidelines.


Guidance for a Safe Return to Work

Among the 5 Steps for a Safe Return, step 2 is dedicated to cleaning and hygiene enhancement, recommending:

– The adoption of advanced handwashing, hygiene, and surface cleaning routines

– Facilitation of hand sanitiser stations around the workplace, including washrooms

– Regular cleaning of frequently touched objects and surfaces, with special attention to high-traffic areas

– Clear directives on the usage and maintenance of toilets

– Provision of effective hand drying methods, be it paper towels or electric dryers

Implementation Strategies

– Installation of more handwashing sites

– Deployment of educational materials on effective handwashing techniques, the necessity for increased handwashing, face touching avoidance, and correct coughing or sneezing practices

– Maintenance of hygiene standards reminders

– Adaptation of washroom setups to maintain social distancing

– Explicit washroom cleaning protocols, especially for portable units, with an emphasis on social distancing

– Availability of hand-drying facilities

– Access to hand sanitising options for those interacting with goods and merchandise

– Mandatory handwashing or sanitising before and after the use of face masks

– Enhanced hand and surface washing in scenarios where social distancing isn’t feasible

– Post-accident or emergency sanitisation emphasis

– Minimisation of unnecessary surface contacts and hand-to-hand item exchanges

– Increase in cleaning for commonly touched surfaces like door handles

– Widespread hand sanitiser availability across the workplace

– Provisions for customer, visitor, and employee hand hygiene, with stations strategically located throughout the premises, including entry and exit points, meeting rooms, and near elevators or stairs.


Ensuring Hand Sanitiser Availability

To promote hand hygiene, workplaces should ensure hand sanitiser stations are accessible in addition to washrooms.

Effective Handwashing Practices

For maximum effectiveness, handwashing should be thorough, covering hands and wrists with adequate soap or sanitiser.

Key Times for Hand Hygiene Include:

– Post-restroom use or nappy changes

– Before and after handling uncooked food

– Prior to eating or food handling

– Following coughing, sneezing, or nose blowing

– Before and after treating cuts or wounds

– After touching animals, their food, or cleaning their habitats


Correct Handwashing Methodology

Consistently washing and drying hands is fundamental in preventing infections. The process should last 20-30 seconds and be practiced frequently, especially before/after food preparation, after respiratory etiquette breaches, or after restroom visits. In the absence of soap and water, hand sanitisers are a reliable alternative.


Choosing the Right Dispensers

The selection of dispensers for soap and sanitiser is pivotal in encouraging hand hygiene, necessitating visibility, reliability, and ease of use in your choice.


Considerations for Dispenser Selection:

– Type of soap or sanitiser

– Anticipated usage volume, influencing capacity requirements

– Installation possibilities in areas without direct power for dryers, complemented by paper towel options for effective drying

For further assistance or to explore our cleaning solutions, please contact the ICS team at 01482 226 570 or visit our website to submit a query.