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Interested in learning more? Visit the Flu Center.

Using Hand Sanitizers for Flu Prevention in the Workplace

Hand washing has long been touted as one of the best ways to stop 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 hand sanitizers, you can keep the flu from significantly affecting your company and keep your business on track.

How Hand Sanitizer Can Prevent the Flu

Using 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’s infected with germs and then touch the face, eyes, nose or mouth, you’re taking the chance of introducing those germs into your body. The alcohol found in some hand sanitizers quickly kills most germs, making it an efficient method to quickly disinfect until a more thorough hand washing can be done.

Choosing a Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers come in a variety of formulas and forms. Some are scented, and 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 make a simple fragrance-free moisturizing lotion available to your employees, as alcohol-based hand sanitizers can dry out your hands.

Steps for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Hand Sanitizer

To get the most out of your hand sanitizer, it’s 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 your hands. In this case, a thorough hand washing is probably the best option.
  • Make sure to use enough product. Killing germs is not a less-is-more situation. You want to make sure you use enough hand sanitizer to thoroughly coat all parts of your hands.
  • Keep rubbing the product in until the hands are no longer wet. This helps make sure the product comes into contact with all your hands’ surfaces. Don’t forget the backs of the hands and the fingers, as these areas are often more neglected than the palms.

An Effective Alternative to Hand Washing

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 hand sanitizer you choose out in the open, where it can be easily seen and serve as a visual reminder to employees throughout the day.

Using hand sanitizer in combination with preventive measures, such as avoiding those sick with the flu and good hygiene practices, can help keep you and your workers healthy through even the worst flu season.


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