4 Unexpected Reasons Why Workplace Hand Hygiene Matters



employee hand washing signage

When you think of workplace hand hygiene, constant hand washing comes to mind. But it’s much more than that. Hand care has the potential to save your workplace from a disaster.

Workplace hand hygiene importance has increased over the last few years. This is evident in all the hand hygiene products and posters made available in offices today.

It’s no secret that our hands come into contact with numerous items during the workday from our daily commute, down to the washroom.

Proper hand hygiene observation makes us healthier because hand washing kills a significant number of germs. Hence, it reduces your risk of catching even the common cold.

Is hand hygiene important in your workplace? These interesting reasons will convince you to upgrade your workplace hand hygiene.

Reduces the Spread of Illnesses

Using hand hygiene products, such as soap and sanitiser, protects us from illnesses. That’s why it’s important to wash your hands before you eat and even after using the washroom.

Placing emphasis on hand hygiene importance has great positive effects on your business. Fewer workers fall sick, and this makes your business thrive in unimaginable ways.

Contracting an illness causes fatigue. Oftentimes, workers need to take sick days to recuperate. This means they are absent from work for several days.

Further, this has negative effects on business performance. Did you know that absenteeism at work cost New Zealand $4.5 billion in 2014? Imagine what decreased absenteeism could do to your business alone.

Healthy employees are more productive. They have more energy and morale to get through the workday. They are more attentive at work and can attend to clients well.

Besides, in the workplace, there are different kinds of bacteria. In a common washroom, there are 77,000 distinct types of bacteria and viruses. These are known to cause diseases and infections. These include influenza, E-coli and hepatitis, eye infections and intestinal problems.

Germs are not only found in washrooms but in the workspace, too. This means there are bacteria found on desks, telephones and printing machines.

bacteria found in desk telephone keyboard
Image from: Printerland

So, take note to provide the appropriate products in the workspace as well as in washrooms. This helps in emphasising hand hygiene importance.

Making these products available is a form of non-verbal communication to workers. It prompts workers to clean their hands well.

Also, your employees get the message that you care about their health. In turn, they feel valued by their employers and are willing to take part in the hand hygiene processes.

Good Hand Hygiene Saves Workplace Resources

Hand sanitiser
Hand washing is the first line of defence against infections. Learn more

Investing time and effort into your workers’ health is a great investment. This translates to return on investment (ROI) because productive employees are an asset.

Losing time and money due to absenteeism is a common problem that few workplaces can address. Hiring external help in cases of severe illnesses creates an avoidable extra cost. Whereas, healthy workers complete tasks on time.

When workers are absent from work, this causes disruption. Most workplaces are fast-paced environments. The need to beat deadlines and complete projects is imminent.

So, investing in good products and in-house training sessions saves you the trouble. Get managers or volunteers to educate your workers on proper hand hygiene methods.

It’s in your best interest to make these sessions as interactive as possible. Show videos and send out internal memos on hand hygiene importance. This makes the information stick.

‘’We believe that engaged people deliver exceptional results. Wellbeing for us is about what’s going to engage people – what’s important to them? If they’re going to contribute to Z they need to be in a place of strength to do that.’’ — Julian Hughes, GM Health & Safety, Z Energy

Encourage workers to maintain hand hygiene by making it fun and memorable at no extra cost.

Roll out a slogan-making competition to really get your employees engaged in this noble cause. Workers can come up with hand-hygiene slogans and the best can become the slogan of the week.

Using the slogan among themselves reminds them of hand hygiene importance. This slogan can be a simple as ‘’clean hands are safe hands.’’

Essential in Building Resistance and Immunity

Throughout the workday, we come into contact with many items. This includes our faces, bodies and food. We are bound to get sick when we don’t take care of ourselves.

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Emphasising hand hygiene importance is significant in boosting immunity.

So, the more you wash your hands, the less likely you are to catch a disease.

You will end up spending less money on antibiotics used to treat illnesses.  Reducing the overuse of antibiotics saves workers money.

Good hand care causes the body to build resistance. This makes employees healthier, not only as individuals but also in their families. They are less likely to spread bacteria contracted from the workplace to others.

This creates happy relationships in the workplace and healthy families. When workers are healthy, they are happier.

“The groundwork of all happiness is health.” — Leigh Hunt.

Additionally, when clients relate with happy workers, they feel more at home. This increases their loyalty to your business, making them stick around even longer.

Healthier employees are keen on proper engagement with clients. This creates impressionable results.

Promotes Good Etiquette Practices

Proper hand hygiene education creates good etiquette practices in the workplace. Workers will comprehend that the state of their hygiene can affect others. Creating hand hygiene awareness at work extends to their homes. This leads to the creation of a healthier society in general.

Thus, hand hygiene importance is best enforced through the creation of habit. Various mechanisms make this a smooth-sailing process.

For starters, the use of posters in the workspace and washrooms comes in handy. These remind workers of the importance of hand hygiene, as well as educate them on proper hand hygiene techniques, such as how to rub in hand sanitiser well.

These posters state interesting facts, too. They remind us where our hands have been and why washing them is necessary. They are key in repeating the hand hygiene practices taught in training sessions.

Are you ready to change the face of your workplace hand hygiene?  It’s time to clean up your act and take the first step. Finding an expert is easy, especially one with good recommendations and price quotes.

“…they are always willing to go the extra mile to help us out when we get stuck.” — Lyndsey Morrison-Barnes, Resort Manager, Paihia Beach Resort & Spa

Photo: Mike Mozart



Disclaimer – These articles are provided to supply general health, safety, and green information to people responsible for the same in their organisation. The articles are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs.