Apr 30, 2020

Reduce employee illness and absenteeism with hand sanitizer

Public spaces like office, gyms, supermarkets are widespread with germs. Clients and employees carry harmful germs and bacteria to door handles, desks, working equipments and beyond. Unfortunately the exposure of germs and bacteria disrupts the working schedule of employees. When employees are sick or absent, productivity takes a hit. Throughout the day, an employee uses his hands to shake hands with other employees or with the clients, to write a report, to open doors and much more. All these activities expose an individual to harmful germs and bacteria. According to health professionals, almost 80 percent of the infections are transmitted to our bodies via our hands, so it becomes imperative to implement an effective hand hygiene practice at work and the easiest way of which is to keep hand sanitizers at our work stations.

What does research say about it?

According to the results of a research carried out in the past, use of alcohol based hand sanitizer in the workplace is a cost effective method to reduce illness and the rate of absenteeism among employees.

Nils-Olaf Hubner, MD, Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Germany carried out a study in which the participants were divided into two groups, one using alcohol based hand sanitizer and the second not using any such product. What the results of the study showed was that the group of participants using alcohol based hand sanitizer reduced the number of episodes of illness and also missed fewer days of work due to illness as compared with the other group not using a hand sanitizer.

Key locations to keep hand sanitizer at workplace

Organizations which encourage regular use of hand sanitizer at work tend to have healthier employees. Healthcare officials recommend that the individuals who use alcohol based hand sanitizers atleast five times at work are likely to be healthier than others who don't. The best way to remind employees about the use of sanitizers is by making it easily accessible and within their sight. Some of the key locations to keep hand sanitizer at workplace include:

>> Entrance of the office: A door knob can be the hot spot of most of the germs because door knobs are touched by many employees throughout the day. So it is one of the best ideas to keep hand sanitizer at the entrance of your workplace so that the employees can use it everytime they enter and leave the office.

>> Meeting rooms: The meeting rooms are often occupied with the employees, clients and visitors who often exchange handshakes thus swapping germs from one person to another. So near to the door or at the table keeping an alcohol based hand sanitizer would be an effective technique to prevent the spread of infections.

>> Employee desks: Employees desks, phones, keyboards, computers often transfer germs to our hands as we often touch them frequently. As employees spend their maximum time on their desks and even eat, drink, cough and sneeze at one time or the other, therefore employee working desks can be another place where hand sanitizers can be kept.

>> Inside lift: This is yet another place where chances of germ presence are high. When the employees press the floor number buttons inside the lift or the arrow buttons outside the lift with their hands on which they might have coughed or sneezed a thousand times, the surface gets contaminated. It is therefore best to have one hand sanitizer inside the lift as well to ensure that the employees sanitize their hands the moment they touch any lift button.

>> Inside the kitchen: From hands germs and bacteria often reaches to our body and makes us ill. As the microwave handle, coffee maker, sink faucet and refrigerator door might be covered with bacteria, it is important to use a hand sanitizer before and after eating a meal to get rid of infectious diseases.

Fun facts and figures

1. A few drops of hand sanitizer can create wonders. By this there will a fewer employees getting sick and it will create an overall healthier environment.

2. Using a hand sanitizer for 20 seconds can kill as much as bacteria killed by washing hands with soap and water for 2 minutes.

3. Employees who use hand sanitizer atleast five times each working day are about 60% less likely to get sick.

4. Proper hand hygiene that is the proper use of hand sanitizer can reduce absenteeism upto 40% on each working day.

5. Alcohol based hand sanitizer kills almost 99% of the bacteria and viruses present on our hands that are carried from different objects or individuals.

Hand sanitizers when used correctly can prevent the employees from cold, flu and other infectious diseases. The more alcohol is present in the hand sanitizer the more likely it is to kill the harmful bacteria which in turn will lead to a reduction in the rate of absenteeism among employees.