The 1-2-3 Guide to Hand Hygiene in Commercial Buildings

With an elevated focus on preventing the spread of germs and viruses, everyone will need to review how they approach hand hygiene in buildings. Although you may not need to implement similar controls that healthcare facilities require, every building manager will need to promote clean hands inside commercial buildings. The CDC lists handwashing as one of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease in any situation. 

According to science, regular hand washing will:

  • Reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses (like influenza) between 16 and 21%
  • Limit the spread of gastrointestinal illness in populations by as much as 40%
  • Decrease the need for antibiotics, and therefore limit antibiotic resistance in germ populations

In this blog, we’ll discuss the latest hand hygiene guidelines from health officials and give you some additional recommendations to ensure your building is safe. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Improving hand hygiene in buildings is one of the best ways to defend against the spread of disease
  • Regular handwashing and using the right technique every time can help reduce the risk, even when sharing spaces with other people
  • Facility managers need to review the outlets used at handwashing stations and may want to use touchless faucets for improved sanitation
  • Touchless faucets provide additional benefits for facility managers, including reduced maintenance costs, improved flow control, and integrated thermostatic scald protection

How to Improve Hand Hygiene in Buildings

You need to make your visitors and occupants aware that hand hygiene is extremely important, especially in communal settings. The spread of disease from shared surfaces is a real concern, and even if you sanitize your building regularly, a single infected person can become a vector of concern. 

Once the germs are present in the building, the only way to keep everyone safe is to practice good hand hygiene. As part of your awareness campaign, you need to show people the correct handwashing technique to follow. 

This includes:

  • Wetting – First, wet your hands with clean, running water from a tap and apply soap
  • Lathering – Rub your hands together with the soap and lather the back of your hands, under your nails, and between your fingers
  • Scrubbing – Continue to scrub your hands for at least twenty seconds
  • Rinsing – Use running water to rinse your hands and remove all the soap
  • Drying – Finally, use a dry towel or air dryer to remove all dampness from your hands

Display graphics from the CDC or other health bodies at every washing station to remind everyone of the proper handwashing technique described above. 

Diagram showing the five steps required for proper handwashing according to the CDC

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

Although the CDC lists specific situations, you should remind your visitors and occupants that it’s necessary every time they’ve touched a communal surface or when consuming food. Washing before and after these situations will help keep everyone safe and prevent germs from spreading unabated through the building. 

You can find a complete list of situations where handwashing is required here

What Else Can You Do to Improve Hand Hygiene in Buildings?

After making everyone aware of the importance of hand hygiene, you must have the right facilities in place. You’ll need dedicated stations to provide handwashing facilities throughout the building, and you should place hand sanitizers in areas where handwashing stations aren’t available.

You should also review the faucets and taps that you provide in your restrooms or other areas, such as kitchens, where there is an increased risk of infection. 

Sanitary Handwashing Solutions for Buildings

Touch-free faucets, towel dispensers, and wall-hung toilets will improve the sanitation in your restrooms. These solutions make it easier to maintain a clean environment and reduce the need for people to touch the surface when practicing good hand hygiene. 

There is a wide variety of touch-free solutions available, so you can find a model that suits your facility’s style and matches your budget. For touchless faucets, consider the E-Tronic® 80 from Chicago Faucets. 

Two models of the E-Tronic 80 touchless faucet, with and without user temperature control

 

Source: https://www.chicagofaucets.com/etronic-80-thermostatic

Benefits of the Touchless E-Tronic® 80 Faucet

The E-Tronic® 80 is easy to install and maintain, with all components available above the deck of your washroom basins. A variety of connection types makes it suitable for almost any application, and you have the option to include built-in ASSE 1070 compliant thermostatic protection. 

The durable housing and body will withstand frequent use, and optional extras can streamline your facility management process. 

The benefits from touchless faucets are:

  • Saves money – Normal handwashing under a running faucet can use as much as 2 gallons of water per minute. A touchless faucet allows you to set the flow rates and times according to your needs, limiting waste. 
  • Improved hygiene – By not requiring anyone to touch the faucet during operation, you can greatly increase the sanitation of your restrooms.
  • Ease of use – Because the faucet uses a sensor to activate, it’s easier to use for anyone, including the elderly and small children.
  • Reduced maintenance and increased control – As the valve uses a solenoid to operate, you have optional extras that allow you to generate reports, check maintenance requirements, or even troubleshoot issues using the Commander™ handheld unit. 

Improving Hand Hygiene in Buildings with Chicago Faucets

The need for elevated hand hygiene in buildings will only continue in the future. For facility managers, adopting the right tools and technologies now can help keep occupants and visitors safe while reducing the spread of disease from contaminated surfaces. 

Practicing good hand hygiene should be the first defense against germs on communal surfaces. At Chicago Faucets, we work with building managers to find optimized solutions for all your water systems. For improved sanitation inside your buildings, you’ll need modern, durable solutions that can stand up against regular use and even abuse. 

If you need to improve the hand hygiene in your buildings, discuss your requirements with an expert from Chicago Faucets today. 

Topics: Hand Hygiene in Buildings, How to Improve Hand Hygiene in Buildings, Prevent the Spread of Disease, Handwashing