Hands are the part of the body that are most exposed to germs and substances in the home, the environment and areas shared with other people such as offices, schools, hospitals, shopping centres and public transport.
You use your hands to:
All these activities can pick up unwanted germs, dirt or chemicals or transmit them to your mouth or to other objects or people.
Unwashed hands can quickly spread germs around a building via door and cupboard handles, kettles, shared devices such as telephones, photocopiers, mice, keyboards etc and in businesses cause a high proportion of time off work. If you handle or prepare food for other people your hands can contaminate the food and make other people ill.
Poor hand hygiene is the main cause of preventable illness in offices, schools, hospitals and food establishments.
A dye that fluoresces in UV light can show where people touch common areas such as in washrooms and offices. This image shows the parts of the hand that picks up most germs through touching common objects in offices.
The purpose of washing hands is to remove dirt, dangerous chemicals and microorganisms that can cause disease or contaminate food and items that people use.
The simple act of hand washing will reduce the risk of stomach bugs by nearly half (47%).
There are many situations when your hands can pick up germs or transfer germs to objects or people and when hand washing will help protect you or others.
Wash your hands in these situations:
1. Employee Hygiene and Handwashing in Retail Foodservice Establishments. http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/februarymarch-2016/employee-hygiene-and-handwashing-in-retail-foodservice-establishments/
2. Minnesota Department of Public Health, Hand Hygiene. http://www.health.state.mn.us/handhygiene/index.html
Our paper towel dispenser features the same antibacterial surface as our soap dispensers and ensures towels are always free from contamination.