Respiratory viruses, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), can easily be spread via our hands. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself and help slow the spread of coronavirus is by regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
Hand washing is actually much more powerful against germs than many of us realize and encouraging employees to practice hand hygiene protects them, your company, customers, and the community at large. There are a few different ways employers can support their workers in hand washing:
- Hand Washing Instructions: Washing your hands often only works to prevent the spread if it’s done properly—and most people don’t put that into practice according to a study at Michigan State University. Hanging posters with visual instructions on the right way to lather can encourage hand washing and ensure everyone is practicing good hygiene.
- Reminder signs: Hand washing has become such a habit of our daily lives we often do it without giving a second thought but in order to flatten the curve, employees should wash their hands more often, after coughing or sneezing, and after touching any frequently used item or surface. Safety signs are a great way to remind workers when to wash their hands, where handwashing stations are, and how to maintain good hand hygiene.
- Hand Sanitizer Stations: Consider adding temporary sanitizer stations to improve access and encourage workers to clean their hands often. Install these stations near entrances and exits, in reception areas, at check-out stands, and close any items or surfaces that are often touched.
Employees cannot necessarily control what they touch or know who else touched it, but employers can take steps to encourage hand washing to protect the workplace. Hand washing protects more than just the individual but is part of a safety net protecting the community.
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