Chris Wakefield, Vice President of European Marketing and Product Development at GOJO Industries-Europe, explains how to enhance health, safety and wellbeing with effective hand and surface hygiene.

Health and safety regulations state that employers have a duty of care for their staff. But as the UK takes steps towards a new ‘normal’ following COVID-19, taking this responsibility seriously has never been more important. With the threat of a second spike, many people are concerned about returning to their usual place of work, or visiting non-essential shops and other public spaces.

With this in mind, it is essential that employers put steps in place to instil confidence in their workforce, not only to safeguard their health, but to enhance their emotional wellbeing too. At the heart of these changes, is an increased focus on hygiene and cleanliness.

Healthy hands Ever since the coronavirus began circulating, the primary recommendation to avoid contracting it has been to practise good hand hygiene. A simple act, but one that can break the chain of infection and stop the virus from spreading.

In order to facilitate this, FMs should begin by reviewing their washroom facilities, and ensure that they are monitored frequently. Is the equipment in good working order? Do dispensers need replenishing? Are they clean and hygienic themselves? If not, you run the risk of people abandoning handwashing altogether, especially as the increased focus on germs means people are reluctant to touch unclean or leaking dispensers.

Touch-free technology provides a great solution to this problem and, given the fact that no physical touch is required, is a more hygienic option too. Highly popular amongst users, the sensors automatically detect hands and release the exact dose required for an effective clean. Since a precise amount is delivered, there is less mess and wastage too.

When you consider that approximately 60% of the population report having sensitive skin, and combine this with the frequency with which people are now washing or sanitising hands, product choice is crucial. Businesses should opt for a formulation that has proven germ-killing efficacy, yet is gentle and unlikely to irritate. Providing moisturisers can help to maintain skin health too, as they help to rehydrate and replenish oils.

Hand sanitisers are also gentle to hands. One study found that skin irritation and dryness decreased after using hand gel for two weeks, but rose when nurses used medical soap and water instead. Hand sanitiser dispensers should be placed in all high traffic and communal areas, such as reception areas, at entry and exit points, and shared kitchen and meeting rooms. Businesses should consider placing bottles of hand gel at individual workstations too.


Sanitising surfaces is just as important Studies suggest that COVID-19 may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. Therefore, all surfaces must be frequently sanitised to help stop infections spreading from one area or building to another.

Facilities managers should pay special attention to busy touch-points, such as door handles, handrails, or lift buttons. Employees should also beware of hidden dangers around their workplace, such as the photocopier, office stationery, or even the office kettle. PURELL sanitising sprays and wipes are fast acting, bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal, and can be used in complete confidence.

Having the correct hygiene measures in place will help reassure worried employees that they can safely return to work, however, it is only part of the solution. Everybody has a part to play; people need to practice hygienic behaviour and use the supplies properly to truly lessen the risk. Only then can we ensure that our workplaces are safe and healthy environments.

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