Spring is here but cold and flu season is still in force. In the workplace, where people are sharing space, equipment, computers, and phones, good handwashing hygiene is critical to prevent the spread of illnesses. A sick coworker is not only frustrating to others but can be a workplace safety issue, particularly with contagious illnesses. There are practices that can help fight the spread of germs in the workplace that every employer can promote as part of their safety practices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that proper handwashing remains the simplest and most useful way to prevent illnesses. Hand sanitizer is oftentimes seen as a good substitute for handwashing. While hand sanitizer in workplaces has become a standard sight, handwashing with soap and water is more effective against fighting illnesses than using hand sanitizer. It is recommended to wash hands for at least 20 seconds for full effectiveness.
Handwashing Habits Increase
The annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey conducted by commercial manufacturer, Bradley Corp., surveyed 1,264 American adults about their handwashing habits and provided insight into what workplaces can promote on the job. Good handwashing habits are significantly up from a decade ago, when the survey was first instituted. In 2009, only 45 percent of those respondents increased their handwashing and hygiene habits in response to influenza risks. That year, the H1N1 influenza virus was elevated to the level of pandemic due to its prevalence and severity.
Since that first survey year, Bradley reports that Americans’ handwashing habits improved; in 2019, they stated handwashing was at a 73 percent increase. This points strongly to the success of health providers and agencies’ public education and communication efforts. The survey also showed that 62 percent believed that handwashing with soap and water was more important than using hand sanitizer. However, the results also indicated that handwashing habits vary depending on whether a major flu outbreak is underway.
Employers have the duty to demonstrate and communicate various safety and health practices. Visible signage about employee handwashing is required in food and drink businesses, but employers in any industry should implement handwashing protocols and communicate it to their employees. For employees who experience injury or illness on the job of any kind, keep in mind the advice of an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Advocate for Injured Workers
If you were injured at work, the Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help. We are skilled in representing injured workers and obtaining the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact us for a free consultation via our online form or call us at 856-414-0010 today. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly and Camden County.