Friday, May 1, 2009
The news surrounding H1N1 Influenza A (swine flu) has demonstrated the impact germs can have on individuals and businesses, and reinforces the need to wash and sanitize hands in the workplace.
Germs are everywhere. They are typically spread by hands quickly and easily to co-workers and work surfaces. Since auto technicians interact with customers and other colleagues and with common surfaces and tools frequently in the workplace, it’s easy to see how widely those germs can spread.
“Washing your hands is the simplest thing we can do to prevent the spread of germs, and protect the health of Automotive workers,” says Steve Pruett, GOJO automotive market vice president. “Technicians are in and out of customer vehicles all day – vehicles that drivers almost live in. Hand sanitizing has proven to be a fast, effective method for killing germs on workers’ hands. Just because your hands don’t look dirty doesn’t mean they’re clean or healthy. You can’t view germs with a naked eye."
Major health organizations, such as the World Health organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada agree that handwashing and hand sanitizing with an alcohol-based hand rub are especially critical to minimize the spread of germs. This is especially true during times of illness outbreak.
The CDC recommends:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are spread that way.
According to Pruett, the spread of germs and illness can have a real impact on your company. A study in the Journal of Environmental Medicine suggests that respiratory illness alone can cost as much as $134 per employee.1 Multiply that by the number of employees at your company, and you can see how just a few germs can cost your company both time and money. And few businesses can afford to lose worker productivity due to illness.
GOJO offers comprehensive programs to help the automotive industry meet the CDC recommendations, including effective soaps and hand sanitizers to help facilities reduce the spread of germs. For more information on hand hygiene and skin care for automotive techs, call 1-800-321-9647 or visit the GOJO Automotive Website at www.gojo.com.