Latest News

Handy Advice for Your Workplace

27 July 2015 - Latest News

Handy Advice for Your Workplace

The truth is, there’s no escaping germs – they can be found everywhere and the office is certainly no exception. Whether it’s shaking hands at the end of a meeting, taking money from a customer, or grabbing a quick cuppa in the tearoom, the exchange and spread of germs at work never stops.

And we all know how quickly the common cold can circulate in an office – from that first sniffle, co-workers are soon taking turns to have a day off to recover.

The average cost to business per employee sick day hit $347 in 2014, in associated costs and loss of productivity.1 Amongst the primary reasons for the sickie was cold, flu and gastro.2

But germs can easily be put in their place if everyone follows a few simple hand hygiene practices in the workplace by hand washing or using alcohol-based hand sanitisers at these key times:

  • When you arrive at work (especially if you’ve come on public transport).
  • Before and after using the toilet.
  • Before and after meals.
  • After handling lots of commonly used items.
  • After sneezing or nose blowing.
  • When your hands are not visibly dirty.

You should also promote healthy hand washing techniques in your workplace by including step-by-step posters as reminders at wash stations and by fixing hand sanitisers to the wall where staff can easily access them. Businesses who promote the practice of healthy hand washing routines are more likely to see a reduction in the spread of germs as well as a decreased risk of cross-contamination.

Furthermore, studies out of hospitals where alcohol-based rubs are used according to guidelines have shown a reduction in infections and bacterial transmission.3

While the average workplace might not deal with as many germs and infection risks as a healthcare facility, it can certainly take a leaf out of their hygiene guidelines for using alcohol hand rubs4 during cold and flu seasons:

  • Remove excess jewellery, like rings, from hands.4
  • Squirt enough rub into your cupped hands to cover all surfaces.4
  • Keep rubbing your hands together until dry.4

Encouraging responsible hand hygiene procedures amongst employees will lead to a healthier, more efficient workplace.

Read more about hand sanitisers here

REFERENCES

  1. Direct Health Solutions. Absenteeism costing $33 billion according to 2014 absenteeism survey [Internet] 2014 [cited 2015 Jun 1]. Available from http://www.dhs.net.au/insight/2014-absenteeism-survey/
  1. Direct Health Solutions. 2013 ABSENCE MANAGEMENT SURVEY SUMMARY [Internet] 2014 [cited 2015 Jun 1]. Available from

http://www.dhs.net.au/insight/2013-absence-management-survey-summary/

  1. Pittet D, Hugonnet S, Harbarth S, Mourouga P, Sauvan V, Touveneau S, et al. Effectiveness of a hospital-wide programme to improve compliance with hand hygiene. Lancet. 2000; 356:1307-12.
  1. Hand Hygiene Australia. Hand hygiene information brochure for hospital care [Internet] 2011 Jun [cited 2015 Jun1]. Available from http://www.hha.org.au/forconsumers.aspx