Hand washing is an essential aspect of good health, as our hands are what we use to hold items, touch surfaces, and other activities. Proper hand hygiene is important around the office where we spend most of our day, and interact with different people.
The Importance of Washing Hands at Work
Washing hands while at work is not only part of personal hand hygiene, but it also helps to minimize the spread of diseases that come with unwashed hands. Washing hands is an effective way to remove any germs, dirt, and other messes from your hands, and prevents you from spreading these to other surfaces.
For instance, if you're sick, then you wouldn't want to spread your sickness around the workplace. Much like how you practice good hygiene in a doctor's office, you have to wash properly with soap and water to avoid getting sick, or passing illnesses around.
When to Wash Your Hands at Work
There is no limit to how many times you should wash up at work. However, don't wait until your hands are visibly dirty before you wash up. Clean hands prevent the spread of germs and viruses like Covid-19. Maintaining proper hygiene is essential to stay healthy not only in the workplace, but also at home as you prevent the spread of germs from your workplace to your home as well.
Wash your hands when you do any sort of activity around the office such as preparing food, touching your face, using communal items, or touching animals. Washing hands with soap will also prevent the spread of fluids from nose coughing or sneezing.
When working in restaurants, you need to wash up each time you handle food to prevent cross-contamination of ingredients. Same goes for cafes, bars, and other eateries. In commercial offices, wash up after going to the bathroom, and don't spread respiratory infections by washing up after holding a dirty tissue.
If you work in a hospital or clinic, wash up after coming into contact with contaminated surfaces, patients, and any human or animal samples that you may have handled. Same goes for veterinary offices, and pet grooming salons.
How to Wash Your Hands Properly
Many people believe that hand washing is as simple as rinsing your hands under a faucet. However, this only removes a small percentage of the germs that may be lingering on your fingers or palms. You will need to wash hands properly with soap and water to get them to a complete clean.
Hand washing takes a few seconds, and healthcare settings and protocol requires you to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds to get rid of the majority of bacteria and viruses on your hands. As a general rule, singing Happy Birthday twice is an effective timer in hand washing for 20 seconds.
- Wet hands with clean, running water.
- Wash hands with antibacterial soap, keeping the liquid soap all over the surface of your hands.
- Rub your palms together to evenly wash hands with the antibacterial soap.
- Lather the back of your hands, making sure to get between the fingers and through the knuckles.
- Rub your knuckles together to scrub them clean.
- Don't forget to clean your thumbs as well!
- Go over your fingers, knuckles, palms, and thumb to scrub any parts you may have missed.
- Rinse your hands, and dry them with clean paper towels, or shake off the excess water and air dry if no clean towel is available to you.
- At this point, you may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to complete hand disinfection, or forego the hand sanitizer for regular cleaning. The antibacterial hand soap should have removed traces of microorganisms on your skin.
Best to carry a clean towel with you to dry your hands. Using a communal drying towel may be just as germ-infested as touching contaminated surfaces, so carry your own personal towel to avoid spreading diseases around.
Best Tips to Keep Your Hands Clean and Germ-Free
- Carry with you a small bottle of liquid soap for hand washing, especially if your office does not provide soap in the bathroom.
- Consider making hand sanitizers a part of your work bag, as there would be times when hand washing would be inconvenient, or if there is no soap and water available around. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should help with disease control, and stop germs.
- Use a moisturizing soap if you get skin irritation from regular soap. Most soaps on the market are effective in killing germs, so using soap meant for sensitive skin does not make much of a difference as long as you wash your hands with soap.
- Avoid touching suspicious surfaces, and clean any food particles from your desk to avoid touching sticky or greasy residue later on.
Up Your Hygiene
One of the best ways to prevent spreading germs, dirt, and diseases around is to keep the environment clean. A clean workplace is a healthy workplace, and we at Luce Office are fully committed to keeping you safe from germs as you go about your work! Check out our full list of services on our website today to learn more.