How clean hands affect the workplace

How clean hands affect the workplace

Workplaces equipped with alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers and wipes throughout the building can significantly reduce certain health insurance claims and sick time, according to a new study.

The study looked at how a comprehensive PURELL™ hand hygiene program in an office environment affected employer health claims and costs, as well as absenteeism and employee perceptions.

The findings showed:

  • 24.3 percent fewer hand hygiene-preventable insurance claims, compared to a control group.
  • 13.4 percent fewer sick days or unscheduled time off, compared to the previous year.
  • Eight out of 10 employees reported that having the hand-sanitizing products available positively impacted their impression of their employer.

“Doctors and other health professionals have been telling people for years the benefits of the healthy habit of hand hygiene, but some need proof that it makes a difference,” said study co-author Dr. William Jarvis in a press release. “This well-designed 13-month real-world environment study…shows that when people use PURELL™ products only a few times a day, it can reduce sickness and ultimately reduce a trip to the doctor’s office.”

“Clean hands reduce the spread of disease,” says Pam Bierbaum, an Advocate nurse and infection preventionist at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “Keeping hands clean – whether with hand sanitizers or soap and water – is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the most effective way to reduce the number of germs on hands. The CDC recommends cleaning hands before and after eating, after blowing your nose and after using the restroom.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.