Hand hygiene in the workplace

Hand Hygiene is the single most important factor in reducing the spread of infections

Everyone has germs. Infection control in the workplace begins by assuming that everyone is potentially infectious. Our bodies are covered with germs that actually help us stay healthy. In addition to the germs that are usually present on our skin, we also pick up germs from contact with other people or objects in our surroundings. These germs are easy to pick up and transfer. In this way, they can cause you, or others, to get sick. Although people usually think that germs are spread through the air, the fact is that germs are most easily spread through hand contact.

Infection is caused by pathogens (‘bugs’) such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa or fungi getting into or onto the body. It can take some time before the microbes multiply enough to trigger symptoms of illness, which means an infected person may unwittingly be spreading the disease during this incubation period.

When should you use antibacterial hand rubs?

If you have contact with contaminated objects in the environment e.g. dirty tissues/nappies, shopping trolley handles, when handling coins, phones, keyboards or shaking hands.

Before and after you contact anyone who is sick

For routine cleaning of hands anytime they are visibly clean

Whenever you want to decontaminate your hands

Hand Facts: 

95% Of People Don’t Wash Their Hands Correctly After Using The Bathroom – eeew!

So how should we wash our hands?

1. Wet hands in clean running water

2. Apply soap

3. Rub hands together to lather soap, not forgetting your nails, thumbs, the back of your hands and between fingers

4. Continue rubbing for at least 20 seconds

5. Rinse in clean running water

6. Dry with clean cloth or paper towel

To find out more about hand hygiene go to:

Hand Hygiene Australia

Better Health Vic

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