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The importance of hand washing

Something as simple as hand washing doesn’t feel like it deserves coverage from the major press and yet over the past few months there have been two full-feature articles looking at this seemingly basic element of hygiene. The emergence of these articles is linked to research coming out of the University of Southampton and Michigan State University. The implications are important both for individuals and their families, employers and care providers.  For many years Trojan Commercial Cleaning have been advocates for raising awareness of best practice hand washing in businesses, GP surgeries, schools and nurseries.

Some of the statistics that demonstrate the important of hand washing are rather disturbing. In an excerpt from a Daily Mail article, Dr Val Curtis, an ‘expert in hygiene and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’, reveals that the number of people who were unknowingly carrying faecal bacteria was very common, with 28% of commuters having it on their hands. 

This statistic alone demonstrates the importance of washing your hands. Not only can contact with faecal bacteria result in severe cases of food poisoning, but having unclean hands will also provide opportunities for all manner of illnesses to be transmitted. And yet research demonstrates that 62% of men and 40% of women admit they don’t bother to scrub up after every visit to the toilet.

Infections from the common cold and influenza, to superbugs like SARs and MRSA can be denied the opportunity to spread simply by washing your hands properly. However, this was another issue that studies found concerning: not only were people skipping the process of washing their hands, those that were washing them were not doing so sufficiently. Using fluorescent imaging technology to detect bacteria, the University of Salford investigated the presence of bacteria after various types of hand washing.

The findings showed that in order to get your hands completely clean, individuals need to wash their hands with particular soaps for thirty seconds – a lot longer than the majority of us will spend washing our hands.

Trojan are convinced that the reasons for people not washing their hands either at all or insufficiently, are mainly due to lack of awareness of: 1) the risks of catching and spreading illnesses linked to hand washing 2) the length of time you should wash your hands for 3) the risks linked to poor hand drying.

In office scenarios and high-risk-of-infection environments like doctors’ surgeries, nurseries and schools, it is essential that staff and management understand the importance of hand washing. Trojan Commercial Cleaning has many years’ experience in delivering training to provide all employees with the hygiene knowledge that their organization requires. Not only that, but we provide a comprehensive hygiene audit leaving your team with:

  • ‘nudges’ in the form of posters, to reinforce positive behaviours
  • the required cleaning materials for specific areas
  • training materials so staff can refresh their knowledge at any point
  • our telephone number so we can answer any of your ad hoc enquiries

It’s easy to underestimate how many organisations are impacted by employees taking time off due to sicknesses that could be prevented. The statistics are quite staggering and can be seen on our blog infographic by clicking here.

 If your business is suffering from high instances of office sickness, or is an organization regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), we can offer you both routine daily cleaning and hygiene training, as well as up to the minute knowledge of CQC standards and inspection processes.

 Trojan Commercial Cleaning is one of East Anglia’s leading commercial cleaners for offices, surgeries, dentists and medical centres, providing routine daily cleans, deep cleans, pre-inspection run-throughs and, as mentioned above, staff hygiene training.

Call us on 01353 724559 or contact us by completing this form.