The cost of poor hand hygiene…


Last year, outbreaks of E. Coli  and norovirus on several cruise lines made the headlines. Those news-grabbing cases, coupled with the cold and flu season we have just had, illustrate the importance of proper hand hygiene.

Although hand washing is critical in preventing the spread of illnesses, compliance rates remain low. A 2013 study by Michigan State University found that only 5 percent of people properly washed their hands after using the bathroom. Other studies cite rates as high as 50 percent, but most agree that at least half of all people fail at hand hygiene — and that can have severe consequences.

If your hands are contaminated, you can transmit that to as many as seven different surfaces. Consider the consequences when Hepatitis B can survive on surfaces for seven days. Other things can survive for three months. As you can’t see them so you don’t know they are there!

The cost of poor hand hygiene can be monumental. Illnesses can result in pricey absenteeism rates at schools and offices and, more worrisome, loss of lives in healthcare settings. People calling in sick costs the country millions, perhaps even billions of pounds a year, so clean hands will save businesses money.

The single most important thing we can do to keep from getting sick and & office buildings should make it as simple as possible for everyone to clean their hands.

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