Office Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene - The Important Role it Plays in Keeping Your Office Healthy

Tom Wojtkun


By Thom Wojtkun

Market Development Director, Office Buildings, GOJO Industries

Did you know that more than 80% of illnesses can be transmitted by the hands?1  Did you also know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends hand hygiene as one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting sick and spreading illness-causing germs to others?2

Earlier this year, GOJO Industries, the makers of PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer, took a closer look at this past winter-germ season and found some interesting, icky and fun facts in a survey that was commissioned with Wakefield Research. While the survey pointed out that 69% of working Americans don’t take sick days because they don’t want to miss a day of work, even if they are actually sick, it also showed that of those who haven’t gotten sick this season, the majority of them, 62%, said that hand hygiene is the reason why.3

These results demonstrate the important role hand hygiene plays in preventing the spread of illness-causing germs. In fact, when FedEx Custom Critical added PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer, along with a hand hygiene education program, to its work environment, the company saw a 20 percent reduction in absenteeism.4 This should be encouraging news to building tenants and employers.

Good hand hygiene is paramount to good health all year long, not just during winter-germ season or when there is an illness outbreak, so it is important to have alcohol-based hand sanitizer where your building occupants can easily access it. It is recommended to have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at or in the following areas:

  • Entrance/lobby,
  • Elevator banks,
  • Work areas,
  • Reception desk,
  • Fitness facility/locker rooms,
  • Restrooms,
  • Break room/cafeteria,
  • Conference and meeting rooms, and
  • Shared work spaces. 
Remember that good hand hygiene, which includes the right products available at the right place, is a simple, yet one of the most important, steps we can take to reduce our risk of getting ill.

[1] 2013 Meta-analysis of germ transmission data by Dr. Gerba, University of Arizona.
[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives. http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html December 11, 2013.
[3] Wakefield Research conducted a survey between January 22nd and February 2nd, 2015, among 1,000 U.S. nationally representative adults aged18 and older. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Survey sponsored by the makers of PURELL Hand Sanitizer.
[4] FedEx Outcome Study Executive Update: Interim Report, July 27,2004, (unpublished) GOJO Industries, Inc. 90.3% confidence interval.

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