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Using Hand Sanitizers for Flu Prevention in the Workplace

Hand washing has long been touted as one of the best ways to top the spread of the influenza virus, and it is. However, a restroom or other hand washing station is not always readily available. By providing your employees with easy access to alcohol-based hand sanitizers, you can keep the flu from hitting your company and keep your business on track.

How Hand Sanitizer Can Prevent the Flu

Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers is another step in the good daily hygiene habits and preventative measures your workers are already taking to keep from contracting influenza. These products work by eliminating most of the germs that exist on the hands. Every time you, or one of your employees, touch a surface that is infected with germs and then touch the face, eyes, nose, or mouth, you are taking the chance of introducing those germs into your body. The alcohol in hand sanitizers quickly kills most germs, making it an efficient method to quickly disinfect until a more thorough hand washing can be done.

How to Choose a Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers come in a variety of formulas and forms. Some are scented, others are not. There is the traditional gel-like option, or you can choose from alcohol-based hand sanitizing foams and wipes. You may also want to provide a simple fragrance-free moisturizing lotion for your employees, as alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be drying.

Steps for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Hand Sanitizer

To get the most out of your hand sanitizer, it is important to educate your employees on its proper technique and use:

• Always make sure hands are not visibly soiled. If your hands are very dirty, the hand sanitizer will not be able to penetrate through and kill the germs on the hands. In this case, a thorough hand washing is probably the best option.

• Make sure to use enough product. This is not a less-is-more situation. You want to make sure that you use enough to hand sanitizer to thoroughly coat all parts of the hands.

• Keep rubbing the product in until the hands are completely dry. This helps make sure that the product comes into contact with all of the surfaces of the hands. Don’t forget the backs of the hands and the fingers, as these areas are often more neglected than the palms.

By providing your workers with hand sanitizers as a quick and easy alternative to traditional hand washing, you can keep your employees healthy and minimize the effect of a flu outbreak in your business. Make sure to keep whatever alcohol-based hand sanitizer you choose out in the open where it is easily seen as a visual reminder to employees to use throughout the day. Using hand sanitizer in combination with preventative measures such as avoiding those sick with the flu and good hygiene practice can help keep you and your workers healthy through even the worst of flu season.