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Research highlights need for sanitisers

by Brian Sims

The need for hand sanitisers in the workplace has been highlighted after research revealed a quarter of people in the UK have faecal bacteria on their hands! The research carried out by hygiene experts from Queen Mary, University of London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found faecal bacteria on 26 per cent of hands, 14 per cent of banknotes and 10 per cent of credit cards in the UK. They also discovered that 11 per cent of hands are so contaminated they carry as many germs as a dirty toilet. According to the UN, hand washing is the most cost-effective intervention to prevent the spread of disease. Even during the London Olympics the Team GB athletes were warned not to shake hands during the games to prevent spreading germs and bugs on hands that could hinder their chances of success. Many people don’t wash their hands properly. The use of water alone isn’t adequate. Soap should always be used, the backs of the hands are as important as the fronts, and it’s vital that they are thoroughly dried. It must be remembered that germs can thrive on cloth towels.” Most workplaces recognise that poor hygiene spreads infections and increases employee absence levels and take steps to tackle the problem. This usually requires provision of high quality hand washing facilities as well as hand gels. Signs in bathrooms reminding people about the importance of washing their hands are also proven to increase hygiene.

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