Washing Hands for Flu Prevention

by Lawton Brothers | Nov 09, 2018

flu prevention
Could something as simple as washing hands prevent people from contracting the flu? Medical experts claim that maintaining clean hands is one of the best practices to help prevent the spread of pathogens among the populace. Frequently washing your hands ensures that if you touch your nose, mouth, or rub your eyes the chances are significantly reduced that you won’t become infected with the flu, that you picked up from a sick person.

Preventing the Flu in a Workplace

During flu season, the flu virus causes employee lost time at work that can cost a business a lot of money in lowered production and paying for sick days. Health complications of the flu can also result in higher than normal employee medical bills which mean higher insurance costs for a business.

Personnel working in fields such as the medical industry are potentially exposed to the flu virus every work day, and in such an environment good hand-washing practices are essential. Keeping hands clean ensures not only that the medical employees do not contact the flu from the sick, but that the virus isn’t spread to other patients with lowered resistance, such as the elderly.

Persons working in the hospitality industry must maintain excellent handwashing practices during working hours or risk spreading the influenza virus to other people through the food. Washing hands carefully after using the restroom is of paramount importance, as well as before and after preparing, cooking, and serving food to the customers.

When Coworkers Are Sick

When a coworker is sick with the flu and doesn’t stay home to recuperate, it may be difficult to avoid contact with this person. A sick person in the workplace complicates matters because many common surfaces in a workplace can harbor the flu virus, such as vending machines, office equipment, or tools. Such a simple act as touching a printer or a computer keyboard after an infected person can easily transmit the flu virus among a group of workers.

Frequently washing hands with hot water and soap during the workday and before eating can greatly reduce the spread of the flu between people that work together. Managers should encourage any sick personnel to stay home to further reduce the risk of spreading the flu in the workplace.

The Handwashing Procedure

  • Hot water is best for washing hands and killing pathogens, but if no hot water is available, then washing with lukewarm water is acceptable.

  • Wet your hands and turn off the water

  • Apply plenty of soap

  • Scrub hands and wrists briskly for approximately 20 seconds

  • Turn on the water and rinse hands well

  • Dry hands using an air blower or a clean paper towel

If no water is readily available to wash hands, instruct personnel to use a hand sanitizer made with sixty percent alcohol. All surfaces of the hands and fingers should be covered with the sanitizing gel and left to dry. Be sure to wash off the gel before eating.

Other Methods of Flu Prevention

During the flu season, implement other practices to reduce the spread of the flu virus at a workplace. Frequently cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, such as door handles and countertops with a strong germicide helps stop the spread of the virus. Readily available hand wipes and alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be available to all personnel to use when needed.

For More Information

Contact Lawton Brothers for more information about preventing the spread of the flu virus in the workplace. We are a family-owned company, providing our customers with integrity and reliable service since 1946. When it comes to fulfilling janitorial needs, Lawton Brothers offers over 60 years of knowledge and experience to help your company maintain a clean and sanitary commercial place of business. We also offer expert janitorial training for your staff to help meet the specific cleaning, disinfection, and sanitation needs of your business.

At Lawton Brothers, we are proud to offer our own private line of cleaning chemicals that delivers top-notch performance at affordable prices. We also offer repair service for cleaning equipment such as floor scrubbers, carpet extractors, and vacuums by highly-trained technicians.

Contact Lawton Brothers at 800-432-0813 to speak with a knowledgeable member of our staff about your janitorial needs. You may also fill out the Contact Form located on our website at https://www.lawtonbros.com/locations and you will be contacted shortly.

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