Hand hygiene tips to manage infection control

Coronavirus still looms large in our consciousness as confirmed cases continue to be reported across the globe. The virus is so new that medical professionals are not yet sure how it is spread from person to person. But as with similar viruses, like influenza, it is believed that cough droplets, which are transferred from mouth to hands or surfaces, could be behind the rapid spread of infection. In fact, 80% of communicable diseases are transferred by touch.

Given the fact that our hands can carry and circulate such nasty bacteria, it is shocking to hear that only 20% of the population wash their hands correctly and a staggering 39% also avoid the sink after sneezing, coughing and blowing their noses*.

Thorough hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of viruses. It sounds simple, yet so many people get it wrong, or undo their hygiene attempts by re-infecting their hands when it comes to drying. We have put together some simple tips that will ensure your hand hygiene regime triumphs in the battle against bacteria.

Tip #1: Wash your hands. And we don’t mean a quick rinse under the cold tap. Most people only wash their hands for around six seconds, which quite simply isn’t long enough. According to the NHS, you should be spending at least twenty seconds thoroughly washing your hands and forearms with soap and water.

Tip #2: Dry your hands. There’s little point following any hand washing guidelines if you don’t dry them effectively. Damp hands are a thousand times more likely to spread germs than dry hands so this is a vital step in the process. Shaking away excess water or wiping hands across your jeans or coat to dry them won’t do the job. In fact, you’re more likely to pick up germs from dirty clothes. Then there are paper towels. Sure, a handful of paper towels will dry your hands, but they are far from sustainable and need constant replenishment. They also leave the risk of cross contamination, if dirty, germ-ridden towels are left on the floor for someone else to pick up. We would always endorse opting for an electric touch-free hand dryer, which will remove excess water in a quick and hygienic manner.

Tip #3: You may have kitted out your washroom with the facilities to promote healthy hand hygiene but keeping on top of the overall cleanliness of the washroom environment is the crucial last step. Poorly maintained washrooms are a hotbed for germs and can present a major problem in the midst of an outbreak like coronavirus.

Airdri has recently added the Airdri Air Purifier to its portfolio, following extensive research into the most effective infection control solution for the washroom environment. The Purifier uses five techniques proven to kill up to 98.11% of viruses and bacteria found in the air and on exposed washroom surfaces. Airdri has already installed the product in its two production facilities in China and its UK headquarters to protect its staff.

Never has it been more important to do everything possible to try to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. Ensuring that a washroom is equipped with the right equipment to do this is key. Whether it’s peak flu season, the height of a health pandemic, or any other day of the week for that matter, thorough hand washing and drying is vital to prevent the spread of infection.