As the UK government shares its ambitions to get Britain back to work in the coming months, Airdri’s Marketing Manager Trudi Osborne, shares her top three priorities for workplace hygiene.

We’re currently living in an unrecognisable society. From avoiding public settings and limiting contact with friends and family, to working from home or even being furloughed; over the past few months, many people’s lives have been turned upside down.

But at the time of writing, Boris Johnson had just announced his plans to get Britain moving again, with a slight easing of restrictions and a number of sectors given the go ahead to get back into the workplace.

With hopes that the COVID-19 crisis is now in decline, workers across the nation are gearing up to re-enter the workplace, but not without some reservations. In fact, according to recent research, more than two-fifths of UK workers are anxious about the prospect of returning to the workplace, following the coronavirus outbreak, due to the health risks posed by the virus.

This is why workplace hygiene has never been more important. Businesses need to ensure that their safety measures instil confidence in the returning workforce.

As we start to edge out of lockdown, we believe that two core washroom practices must be followed to protect infection control. These are removing bacteria from the hands and eliminating microbes from the wider facility.

Hand hygiene The importance of hand hygiene is now firmly in the forefront of peoples’ minds, having remained the first line of defence against the coronavirus since it began circulating. But as restrictions ease, it’s vital that people don’t revert back to their unhygienic bad habits.

All official advice strongly suggests that people should spend at least twenty seconds washing the palms and forearms with soap and water to remove any bacteria living on the skin.

Damp hands are a thousand times more likely to spread germs than dry hands so following up with a thorough dry is just as important.

In recent months, there has been much debate about the safest way to dry hands, despite well-respected organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending that they are still safe to be used.

We were so concerned by the misinformation circulating about electric hand dryers that we commissioned our own study with a leading independent microbiologist. This research further confirmed that the use of hand dryers in the washroom does not contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus. And, when the government published its ‘Working safely during Coronavirus’ guidelines recently, and failed to recommend hand dryers as a safe


hand drying method, we worked with the wider industry to have this information corrected.

So as all official advice now goes – once you have thoroughly washed your hands, dry them with either a paper towel or electric hand dryer. Finally, once you have left the washroom, make sure you use hand sanitiser after touching any other surface.

Eliminating bacteria It’s no good having clean hands if the wider washroom is ridden with germs. Maintaining a high level of cleanliness is vital to removing the opportunity for germs to breed. Therefore, alongside a robust and regular cleaning rota, businesses should invest in a solution that automatically kills any surrounding viruses and bacteria.

We have recently added a range of Air Purifier units to our portfolio, which have been proven to kill 98.11% of all airborne and surface viruses and bacteria. While regular cleaning and the use of disinfectants cannot control the spread of micro-organisms, our range of purifying units can, providing 24/7 infection and odour control by sanitising the air and exposed surfaces. The range includes three units, suitable for varying styles and sizes of settings.

The new normal As we return to some level of normality in the coming months, it is crucial that our hygienic efforts of the past few months aren’t forgotten. Without a commitment to the above measures, we could very easily slip back into another crisis. So as you welcome your workforce back into the office, don’t forget the washroom when it comes to health and safety.

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