Targeting Hygiene

There’s new guidance and a programme for its implementation, designed to help improve the hand and surface hygiene behaviour of facility users.

SC Johnson Professional, in collaboration with hygiene expert Professor Sally Bloomfield, has developed new guidance, ‘8 Moments for Targeted Hygiene’, specifically designed to help break the chain of infection via hand and surface hygiene in workplaces and public facilities.

The guidance is based on the risk management approach for hygiene – known as Targeted Hygiene – developed by the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH), building upon policy paper ‘Too Clean or Not Too Clean’ (Royal Society for Public Health, 2019). It recommends that in order to reduce infectious pathogens spreading in workplaces and public facilities, a firm focus should be placed on individual hygiene behaviour rather than relying on routine ‘deep cleaning’ and disinfection.

Professor Bloomfield commented: “We have to accept that facility managers can only do so much to make their facility COVID secure. Preventing transmission of infections such as COVID-19 and beyond in workplaces and public facilities has to be a shared responsibility.”

Developed for those who manage workplaces and public facilities, the core principle of the guidance is identifying the 8 ‘Moments’ of highest risk when infection may be passed on via hands or surfaces. Scientific evidence, developed since the 1980s by the IFH, shows the main sources of harmful microbes in public facilities are people not places, even when these are perceived as visibly ‘dirty’. The IFH’s research found that many people still largely view hygiene as synonymous with cleanliness; however, whilst regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces plays a role in managing risk, it cannot alone create a safe environment.

Studies show this is because contamination can reoccur quickly within a space inhabited by people, as microbes transmit either via air or via frequently touched surfaces or the hands.

The Targeted Hygiene guidance addresses hand and surface hygiene risks by identifying the 8 Moments when hygiene behaviour change should be encouraged:

• • •

Touching common surfaces

After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose Returning to and leaving your workspace


• • • • •

Getting food prepared Eating food Toilet use

Entering and exiting the building Disposing of waste

Bloomfield added: “Having worked to introduce the concept of Targeted Hygiene at home with the 9 Moments for Home Hygiene, we realised that creating a similar concept for ‘away from home’ environments provides the means to develop effective hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID in public spaces.

“It’s hoped that the ‘8 Moments for Targeted Hygiene’ will help to drive behaviour change around hygiene. This approach is designed to prompt people to recognise the moments of risk when targeted hygiene is called for, rather than giving them a written set of ‘rules’ about when to act, which they may or may not remember.”

Building on this guidance, the ‘SC Johnson Professional Targeted Hygiene Programme’ has been designed to give managers the tools to pinpoint the 8 Moments of high risk in their facility and to set up a suitable, tailored hand and surface hygiene infrastructure. Targeted hand or surface hygiene actions are advised at these moments and the essential products (e.g. hand washing facilities or hand sanitisers) are provided in order to encourage people to act in a manner which helps reduce the risk of infection transmission.

The Programme starts by requesting an on-site survey from one of SC Johnson Professional’s team of experts. John Hines, Director of Research and Development at SC Johnson Professional, said: “As a company, we have many years’ experience of working in a variety of sectors to help improve hand hygiene compliance.

“We know that breaking the chain of infection can only be achieved in combination with social distancing and facial coverings, and by enabling the right products to be used at the point of need, combined with frequent hygienic cleaning of high-risk surfaces. This then needs to be fully supported by facility managers, to encourage the right behaviours for the safety of all users of their facility.” (

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