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  • The importance of sun safety in school

    28/06/2017 10:00:00 AM +00:00

    What impact can Ultraviolet (UV) rays have on a child’s skin? Many are wary of the risks that UV rays pose, however it has been suggested that if exposure is minimal and controlled, these rays can stimulate a child’s metabolism, increase oxygen levels in the cells and boost the immune system.

    Professor Andrew Wright, Consultant Dermatologist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust reaffirms this: “15-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure, without skin reddening or burning, per day should be sufficient for most people to produce the required Vitamin D level”[1]. It is crucial that those responsible for protecting children understand when UV protection is necessary, and for exposure to be controlled.

    There are many misconceptions around the sun and UV rays which must be deconstructed. UV rays are not affected by sunlight or temperature, and can’t be seen or felt, meaning the sun may not be blazing, and it might not be blisteringly hot – but protection is still required.

    Sun exposure in the first 15 years of life can contribute significantly to the lifetime risks of skin cancer[2]. This is unsurprising, as children and young adults spend at least 1.5 hours a day outside per school day, more if involved in sport[3]. This time spent outside can be harmful for pupils. It has been estimated that that 40% of school children have arrived home with sunburn sustained from school[4].

    Instilling the benefits of being sun safe at school in children is crucial. Educating pupils from a young age is likely to make being safe in the sun a lifetime habit. If you teach a child when they are at nursery or school about the risk that the sun poses and how they can look after their skin, it is likely that this will influence how effectively they protect their skin later in life.

    Who is responsible?

    Educational establishments must provide a Duty of Care to the pupils under their supervision in all areas, including skin safety. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for skin cancer prevention recommend that schools “develop, implement and monitor a specially tailored policy to ensure people are protected as much as possible”[5].

    Different approaches should be taken for different age groups. For primary school children it is essential that they are taught what UV rays are in a fun and interactive way, and that they understand the importance of being safe in the sun. For older children in secondary school and young adults in college or university, the emphasis should instead be placed on combatting the stigma attached to being sun safe.

    UV protection

    Effectively minimising the risk of skin cancer in schools is a two-pronged attack which should consist of the appropriate products and the right educational materials. Protection is required when the UV Index is three or above.

    When it comes to choosing an effective solution for school children, it is crucial that schools choose a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen which provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. With regards to application, it is recommended that at least one teaspoon of sunscreen must be applied to each child’s arm, leg, front of body, back of body and face (including ears and neck)[6]. Where possible, it should be applied to clean, dry skin 15-30 minutes before the initial exposure, and reapplied liberally every two to three hours. For children and young adults, it is also crucial that the sunscreen chosen is both water and sweat-resistant to ensure that they remain protected at school.

    It is also recommended that a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is used. Sunscreens with a lower SPF such as SPF15 will only be able to filter out 93% of incoming UVB rays, whereas SPF30 and SPF50 sunscreens are able to filter out 97% and 98% of all incoming rays respectively[7].

    Effective education on the issue of sun safety is also essential, and it is something which can be taught in the classroom, and at home. It is advised that as part of a school’s duty of care, they should create a sun safe policy and communicate it effectively to parents, before conducting classes on the topic of sun safety.

    By providing educational establishments with high-quality sunscreens and the effective resources to learn about UV protection in a fun and informative way, it will ensure that children and young adults are healthier, happier and will have minimised their risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer.

     

    [1] Professor Andrew Wright, Consultant Dermatologist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    [2] Skcin

    [3] Skcin

    [4] Skcin

    [5] Cancer Research UK

    [6] British Association of Dermatologists

    [7] Skincancer.org

  • Maximising hand hygiene compliance through clever washroom design

    Employers have a responsibility to provide adequate facilities for workers and addressing hand hygiene compliance in washrooms is an important part of this responsibility. Given that 80% of all infections are transmitted by the hands[1], it is vital that employees and visitors are provided with the most hygienic environment to reduce the risk of infection.

    If an infection does occur in the workplace, especially in enclosed environments where people are working in close proximity with one another, there is the potential for it to spread if hand hygiene compliance isn’t adhered to. Dr. Chris Smith, Virologist at Cambridge University, revealed in a recent Radio 2 programme on hand hygiene that to become infected with norovirus – one of the biggest causes of gastronomical upheaval – someone would only need to be in contact with ten particles to catch it; a person with the infection can shed enough virus to infect the world population[2]. Infections can impact productivity and sickness in the workplace. The UK Office for National Statistics estimated that more than 400 million working days were lost due to sickness absence between 2013 and 2015[3].

    The risk of germ transfer can be minimised and absenteeism reduced if facility managers better consider washroom design. Dr. Chris Smith claimed that toilets in many workplaces are “abysmally designed”, and this poor design is making occupants more vulnerable to infection. If you think about the washroom at your workplace, it is likely that you will push a door to enter the washroom, and pull the door to exit. Many people will fail to wash their hands effectively (or not at all) after using the toilet, and will touch the handle before exiting. This handle will therefore harbour bacteria which can be easily transferred. When you consider the overall hand hygiene of occupants, logistically this design doesn’t make sense.

    One suggestion to improve overall hand hygiene and reduce the risk of infection would be to place hand sanitisers outside of each washroom, and any other areas where the risk of germ transfer might be high. Examples of these locations would be at the entrance and exit of the workplace, areas close to lifts and stairs and any location where food is being served, so that occupants can be assured that any bacteria that may have been picked up can be eradicated. Certain sanitisers can kill 99.9% or 99.99% of germs, but if facility managers wish to effectively safeguard their workforce, then it is vital that they choose a sanitiser which can kill 99.999% of many common germs. That extra ‘9’ could prove critical in stopping the spread of infections and reducing absenteeism in the workplace.

    It isn’t just the location of the dispensers that can impact hand hygiene compliance, but also how the elements inside the washroom function and are displayed. It is crucial that washrooms contain hygienic sealed dispensers. Foam dispensers are advisable for workplaces as they require 36% less product for an effective hand wash compared with traditional soap and can cut water consumption by 45%. These dispensers can provide enough product for over 1,400 hand washes.

    It is also important for the washroom to look appealing, and to accurately represent a company. Shabby, dirty dispensers which are empty will reflect negatively on any business. Instead facility managers should consider investing in bespoke designed dispensers that fit perfectly in the working environment, and can be designed to include company logos, slogans and can match a company’s overall branding. Having an aesthetically pleasing, reliable dispenser system with readily available soap will mean that occupants will be more inclined to be hand hygiene compliant. Companies should also look for BioCote marked dispensers; a market-leading antimicrobial technology supplier proven to achieve up to a 99.99% reduction in bacteria, mould and fungi over a 24 hour period. The presence of BioCote’s logo on dispensers reassures employees and visitors that excellence in hand hygiene procedures is of paramount importance.

    Ultimately, facility managers must ensure that enhancing hand hygiene compliance is at the heart of the design, or redesign process of a washroom. If facility managers are clever with the design, then there is the potential to reduce the risk of infections, consequently impacting absenteeism and productivity, whilst also ensuring that the washroom environment positively reflects a company as a whole.

     

    [1] Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    [2] Source: BBC Radio 2

    [3] Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS)

  • KEEPING THE BUGS AT BAY

    18/10/2016 12:07:00 PM +00:00

    The spread of infections represents a serious risk for any care home. Rigorous hand hygiene is crucial. But with institutions trying to do ever more with ever fewer resources, keeping up with compliance can be a struggle. Paul Jakeway, Marketing Director at skin care specialist Deb, explains how strategically placed facilities, ongoing staff education, and the right skin care products can help.

    Care homes unite large numbers of people in one place with many of these people highly susceptible to catching infections. Furthermore, the fact that carers frequently move between rooms – looking after residents in quick succession, often with little or no time in between – further increases the chance of germs and bacteria travelling, with serious implications for residents, relatives, and carers alike.

    Residents can be at considerable risk. As the UK’s Department of Health warns, infections caught in care homes can worsen underlying health conditions in residents. The recovery of patients could be adversely affected. Hospitalisation is a potential consequence. In some cases, infections may be life-threatening. It should be in the interest of everyone involved to keep the risk of a spread of infections to an absolute minimum.

    There is more than one way to achieve this, and all of them have a role to play – but it is widely acknowledged that there is no other single activity that can do more to control the spread of infections than hand hygiene. Health care professionals, government departments, and international organisations all agree that a rigorous hand hygiene regime is crucial for every care home.

    According to the Department of Health, hand hygiene should happen after each and every “episode” of caring – immediately before and after there has been direct contact with a person, as well as after any other activity that might have contaminated hands. It should be an integrated part of the everyday running of a care home.

    In practice, things are not always this easy. The problem is not that care home providers or care professionals are not aware of the problem; in most cases, the opposite is the case. But it can sometimes be difficult to integrate a hand hygiene regime in a way that does not hinder the every-day business of running a care home.

    Care homes are under considerable pressure to deliver ever more – in many cases with limited resources. Providers are expected to meet the complex needs of an ageing population, on budgets that are often under enormous strain. Increasingly, staff are asked to deliver significant efficiency saving. The financial and time pressures they operate under can have a negative impact on many aspects of their business – including their hand hygiene regimes.

    It should come as no surprise, then, that evidence cited by the Department of Health suggests that many care workers do not always decontaminate their hands when required – or that they do not always use the correct technique. According to the Care Quality Commission, some studies now suggest that the number of infections in care homes may be comparable to those in hospitals as a result1.

    What can be done to improve this situation?

    Every care home’s requirements and challenges are unique – and so should be the response, with tailor-made solutions that take into account local realities as much as possible. The implementation of a hand hygiene programme should be a cooperation – with care home providers, skin care suppliers, and organisations offering help and guidance all working together.

    There have been huge advances in recent times – in the design of hand hygiene dispensers and facilities as well as the range of skin care products available. All this should make it easier for care home providers to find a solution that is right for them.

    THE RIGHT FACILITIES

    As the Department of Health stresses: accessible hand hygiene facilities are a crucial first step in any effort to increase hand hygiene compliance. If they do not exist, staff should bring this to the attention of the care home management immediately. If they do, care home providers should ask themselves: are our facilities at their most effective? Does their location make sense? How accessible are they? What stands in the way of staff using them as frequently as they should to assure maximum compliance?

    Modern dispenser design allows for much more flexibility when it comes to the location of hand hygiene opportunities. Rather than to have one centrally located facility, which might require staff to walk through the building to have access, dispensers can be strategically placed throughout a care home, for instance at the exit or entry point to a resident’s room. This makes it much more likely for staff to use them regularly.

    Design advances also mean that – rather than being eye sores – dispensers can easily blend into their surroundings. This way, hand hygiene stops being an add-on – and becomes a much more integrated element of the care home environment.

    There are options now that allow care homes to customise the look of their dispensers in terms of the colour and the text that appears on them. They can for instance choose to have their logo displayed on the equipment.

    Alternatively, hand hygiene equipment could carry instructions on the correct hand washing technique, or prominent slogans that encourage hand washing. Such reminders are especially helpful because they are delivered exactly where the hand washing opportunity exists: all you have to do is make use of it.

    The Front of House – the publically accessible areas of a care home – should be taken as seriously as the Back of House – which is reserved for staff and includes kitchen areas.

    To be effective in controlling the spread of infections, it is vital that visitors (who are usually far less aware of the need for hand hygiene than staff or residents) also regularly clean their hands while on site. For this, hand hygiene facilities should not only be easily accessible; they should also be pleasant to use.

    Well-designed and equipped washroom facilities have two advantages: they do not only make visitor hand hygiene more likely, they also present the care home in a good light to visitors and relatives, who might easily be put off if the opposite is the case, and think negatively of the home (even if it provides high-quality care).

     

    ONGOING EDUCATION AND TRAINING

    Properly placed dispensers and accessible facilities are not enough to increase compliance. The Department of Health, the Care Quality Commission and the WHO all agree that ongoing staff education and training are absolutely crucial.

    Care home staff need to be educated about the risks of neglecting their hand hygiene. They need to know not only when or how often to wash their hands – but how. When are alcohol rubs appropriate, and when not? When should a soap product be used?

    Alcohol sanitisers, for example, are not suitable for use on hands that are dirty, contaminated and soiled (e.g. faeces, bodily fluids) or during outbreaks of diarrhoeal illness (e.g. norovirus or Clostridium difficile). In such cases, washing hands with soap and water is necessary. The WHO says that quite often techniques are inappropriate even where compliance is high. Lack of knowledge, says the organisation, is one of the greatest barriers to better hand hygiene practices.

    The guidance the WHO publishes on this is known as the ‘Five Moments for Hand Hygiene’. It is one the highest clinical standards care providers can aspire to. The Five Moments are:

    • Before patient contact

    Clean your hands before touching a patient when approaching him or her.

    • Before an aseptic task

    Clean your hands immediately before any aseptic task.

    • After body fluid exposure risk

    Clean your hands immediately after an exposure risk to body fluids (and after glove removal).

    • After touching a patient

    Clean your hands after touching a patient and his or her immediate surroundings when leaving.

    • After touching patient surroundings

    Clean your hands after touching any object or furniture in the patient’s immediate surroundings, when leaving – even without touching the patient.

    This approach – which was developed based on the most comprehensive evidence-based document available on hand hygiene – aims for hand hygiene to be performed at the correct moments, and at the correct location, within the flow of care delivery. 

    To integrate such an ambitious regime into their everyday business, care home providers need to make staff education and training a clear priority. Which approach to take will depend on the type and size of the care home, but the Care Quality Commission says that practical training, mentoring and role modelling often work better than theoretical training.

    Innovative approaches might be rewarded. Easy-to-use training and educational kits are widely available these days, and they can help with demonstrations of hand washing techniques and the right use of products. E-Learning programmes are increasingly being used by hospitals, and could become popular with care home providers too.  As the WHO points out, this form of distance learning can reduce the time and energy investment by the teacher and is very advantageous for easily monitoring the learning process.

    Training should not be a one-off event, but an ongoing conversation between employers and employees. Regular refreshers and constant updates on infection prevention and control can help to achieve this aim, as can easily accessible information materials, such as leaflets or brochures. Large-scale posters have proven effective in keeping awareness at the level it needs to be.

    Monitoring plays an important role too. The WHO recommends for healthcare providers to closely monitor their practices – as well as their infrastructure. Are we equipped to meet our challenges and meet our responsibilities? Are there problems in our infrastructure that stand in the way of better compliance? How could we make life easier for our staff?

    A close monitoring of staff performance on hand hygiene should be combined with frequent performance and feedback sessions. Is our hand hygiene regime working? How can we improve compliance even further? Is there anything that does not work as well as it should?

    One of the most important features of a successful hand hygiene regime is the inclusion of staff – from the beginning, and at every important point along the way. The aim should be the creation of an environment where staff do not merely feel included, but empowered. The more active a role care staff play in the implementation – and continuous improvement – of a hand hygiene regime, the more likely it is to be widely accepted and executed. The best hand hygiene regimes are the ones that are owned by an entire care home operation.

    CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS

    Choosing the right hand hygiene products is important too. The WHO admits that this can be a very difficult task indeed. Cooperation between hand hygiene product suppliers and healthcare institutions has shown that an ongoing conversation can benefit both sides, with suppliers providing cutting edge innovation, while healthcare providers report back what works and what does not work for them, as well as what their needs might be in the future.

    Hand washing with soap is a fundamental step in hand hygiene practice. Apart from removing any visible soilings from hands, a good hand washing technique will remove high levels of bacteria and viruses also present on the skin. Perfume-free and dye-free foam hand wash have proven to be good products for this.

    Hand sanitising is very useful in reducing microbial counts on visibly clean hands when access to running water is inconvenient. In care environments, alcohol is the preferred active biocide for skin sanitising without the need for rinsing. Effective hand sanitisers can kill up to 99.999% of common germs. Sanitisers can be provided through dispensers, or in personal issue packs so staff can carry around with them.

    It would be a missed opportunity not to think about the skin health of employees when implementing a hand hygiene regime. While hand washing and sanitising are the most important steps, there is a third element to a fully thought-through skin care system: restoring.

    Frequent hand washing makes it necessary to regularly replenish the natural oils and secretions lost from the skin via the use of a conditioning cream. For care home employees, maintaining good skin condition is vital to both their own long term health and the health of those in their care.

    In care homes where carers frequently work outdoors, UV protection could be an additional element. Prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun causes sunburn, skin damage and can lead to skin cancer. Publically available sun cream can help to drastically reduce this risk.  

    EVERYONE COULD BENEFIT

    Strategically placed, accessible facilities; ongoing staff education and training; and choosing the right skin care products – for a hand hygiene regime to be at its most effective, all these should work hand in hand.

    Smartly integrated, a hand hygiene system does not only benefit carers, residents, and relatives; care home providers could expect significant advantages as well. It goes without saying that keeping the risk of infections to a minimum reflects positively on a care home’s image. If residents feel safe, relatives at ease, and carers protected, the wider care home operation can only gain.

    There could be a financial benefit too. Infections place an enormous burden on the healthcare system (it is estimated that healthcare-associated infections are currently costing the NHS up to £1 billion each year). Controlling and preventing them effectively can translate into significant cost-savings for care providers, with case studies showing that money put into the implementation of an intelligently designed hand hygiene system could provide a positive return – sometimes within less than a year.

    This should put at ease care home providers who – understandably – are worried about the up-front costs or a large initial investment needed from implementing an ambitious regime.

    Smart solutions could help care home operators expected to deliver ever more with ever fewer resources to fully embrace hand hygiene. Not as a necessary burden, but as a very effective way to strengthen themselves – in the service of those they care for.

  • Importance of applying creams in the workplace

    18/10/2016 10:07:00 AM +00:00

    Occupational skin diseases are the second most common work-related health problem in Europe.However, most cases can be avoided by implementing structured skin management processes; reducing the risk of skin exposure to irritating substances and hazards. Occupational skin diseases are a threat that affects both an organisation’s efficiency and the health and well-being of its employees.

    To keep skin healthy and prevent the risk of work related skin disease, hand washing alone is not enough. Employees should use pre-work protection creams as well as after work restoration creams as part of a daily skin care routine.

    To combat this, Deb, a leading innovator and supplier of skin care products and hand hygiene solutions, has created the Deb Stoko range of specialist Protect and Restore creams for use in the workplace.

    The expansive range aims to protect the skin from exposure to arduous substances in the workplace, consequently reducing the risk of occupational skin disease for employees. It is crucial that health and safety managers understand the risk that failing to adhere to best hand hygiene practice poses for employees’ skin, particularly the hands.

    Every day, hands are exposed to challenging substances in the workplace such as grease, oil, detergents and soapy water. It is estimated that just one in ten employees, faced with these difficult conditions, follows best hand hygiene practice in the workplace.  Failing to do so can lead to the diagnosis of occupational skin disease.

    For employees, the consequence is particularly costly; both in terms of a loss of income due to increased absenteeism from work, as well as the impact that it has on their personal life and self-esteem.

    When an employee contracts an occupational skin disease, it can be costly for employers too. Not only can it lead to poor publicity for a company, but productivity and profit margins are also affected by increased employee absence and, in some cases, businesses can face compensation claims.

    Deb has created a unique skin care programme to help health and safety managers implement structured skin management procedures into the workplace. A healthy skin workplace requires a safety mind-set where employees provide staff with specialist pre-work creams before coming into contact with challenging substances. Formulated to leave a protective layer on the surface of the skin, they protect the skin from hazardous substances and physical contaminants.

    Deb also advises that employers provide their staff with appropriate Restore creams, to be used after cleansing the hands at the end of each day. These products work by moisturising and conditioning the skin, improving its strength. This ensures that the skin doesn’t become dry, sore and chapped, leading to occupational skin disease.

    Paul Jakeway, Marketing Director at Deb UK, comments: “Occupational skin disease is a serious health issue which affects an organisation’s efficiency and the health and well-being of its employees.”

    “The importance of effective hand creams must be highlighted to employers and employees. With Deb’s expansive range of Protect and Restore creams, the requirements of all end users are met, and the likelihood of occupational skin disease is significantly minimised.”

    In addition to providing the most expansive range of occupational skin care products available on the market, Deb also provides workplaces with a range of product dispensers, training and supporting educational materials to ensure hand hygiene compliance is adhered to.

     

    [1] European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Case Study

    5/02/2015 9:49:00 AM +00:00

    When The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust chose to move to a more skin friendly solution across its six sites, including two large city centre hospitals, it needed a supplier to rise to the challenge.

    Moving to a new hand hygiene supplier is a big undertaking. Imagine what it’s like for a massive,six-hospital trust requiring over 15,000 dispensers.

    Find out how Deb worked with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to deliver the Deb hand hygiene and skin care system - please download the Case Study Below...

  • Deb Group Ltd (‘Deb’), one of the world’s leading occupational skincare providers, today announces that it has reached an agreement with Evonik Industries to acquire the Stoko Professional Skin Care business.

    • Historic and significant investment in the away from the home skincare sector.
    • Stoko has for over 70 years sought to combat skin disease in the workplace and has unparalleled expertise and knowledge in this field, supported by world class skincare products.
    • The businesses have highly complementary customers, product and geographic coverage.
    • The addition of Stoko will allow Deb to accelerate a key element of its commercial strategy, to become a global leader in the prevention of occupational skin disease.

    Bryan Anderson, CEO of Deb said “It has been a longstanding ambition of Deb’s to join forces with Stoko.   We want to create the world’s most comprehensive and effective skincare product range for the workplace drawing on the significant innovation portfolio within both companies. This, in concert with vital information provided by Deb’s unique compliance monitoring technology, will fundamentally alter and improve standards of skincare behaviour.”

    Patrik Wohlhauser, a member of the Evonik Executive Board, said “Evonik continues to direct its portfolio toward high-margin specialty chemicals businesses. While Stoko Professional Skin Care enjoys an excellent reputation on the market, its business model differs from that of Evonik today. As such, we have decided on a buyer that can best realize the growth potential of the business, we believe that Deb will be a good home for Stoko and its people”

    The transaction is subject to regulatory and Evonik’s Supervisory Board approvals and clearances and is expected to complete within the next few months.

    For further information, please contact:

    Deb Group      
    Sarah Hilyer       
    Tel: +44 (0) 7807 613843    
    Email: sarah.hilyer@debgroup.com

    Evonik Industries AG
    Alexandra Boy
    Tel: + 49 201 1773167
    Email: Alexandra.boy@evonik.com

    Notes to Editors

    About Deb Group

    For over 70 years, the Deb Group has been establishing skin care regimes for all types of workplace and public environments, spanning industrial, commercial, healthcare and food sectors.

    With its Global Headquarters in Denby, Derbyshire, Deb comprises 21 companies operating in 16 countries, with Deb products sold in over 100 countries.  An estimated 40 million people use Deb’s products every day.

    Drawing on deep technical expertise and extensive field sales support, Deb provides employers with innovative skin care programmes that maximise employee participation through carefully devised, reliable skin care systems, supported by quality products that are both pleasant-to-use and cost effective.

    About Evonik

    Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders  in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

    Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €2.0 billion.

  • Today Tonight

    29/10/2013 12:00:00 AM +00:00

    Today Tonight - a leading current affairs TV program watched by millions of Australian - recently filmed a story on "How Clean are your hands". Deb was featured in the story which was aired in September this year.

    To watch the video click here.

  • GECA Approved

    29/10/2013 12:00:00 AM +00:00

    Deb Australia & New Zealand is very pleased to advise that InstantFOAM and the OxyBAC range have been added to our range of products certified by Good Environment Choice Australia Limited, abbreviated GECA.

    GECA manages a Type 1 Ecolabel program in accordance to ISO 14024 "Environmental Labels and Declarations". A licence for the use of the Ecolabel has been granted to Deb products that our products meet the environmental performance criteria of a GECA standard.

    Click here for our certified products on the GECA website.

  • Almost every week a manufacturing business in Australia closes – or moves operations off-shore.

    But on Thursday 27 June the world’s leading occupational hand hygiene and skin care company, Deb Group, opened a new $15 million, state-of–the-art manufacturing, warehousing and office facility in South Western Sydney. 

    Flying against the trend of closures and off shore relocation the new Deb manufacturing, warehousing and office complex at Moorebank is now the base for the Australian and South East Asian markets. 

    The Hon Barry O'Farrell MP, Premier of New South Wales and Minister for Western Sydney, attended a ceremony to officially open the purpose-built 5000m2 facility. Ned Mannoun, Mayor of Liverpool City Council and Melanie Gibbons MP Member for Menai were also in attendance.

    Deb managing director Steve Saboune said, “at a time when many companies are closing their doors in Australia – and are moving their manufacturing facilities to Asia, this investment in a world class facility and expected staff growth of 10% per annum confirms our commitment to the Australian market and its role in growing Deb’s presence in the Asia Pacific region.”

    While Deb’s local commitment is healthy for the Australian economy and local employment – it could not come at a more opportune time for the physical health of Australia’s workforce.

    With flu season expected to impact on some 58% of Australia’s workers, resulting in escalating losses in time, productivity and costly errors, Deb has demonstrated world-wide experience with successful infection control in hand hygiene, which according to Epidemiology Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, Dr Mary-Louise McLaws “should be an institutional priority.”

    The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System identified a large increase in recorded influenza cases in Australia last year, compared with previous year’s figures and this trend is predicted to escalate. The cost to business in Australia each year through absenteeism is estimated at more than $175 million.

    International scientific research proves that hands are the most effective vehicle for the spread of germs that cause common illnesses, through touching everyday surfaces like telephones, lift buttons, door handles, desk surfaces, keyboards and pens… even by hand shaking.

    Deb produces preventable and smart measures for preventing and controlling the spread of infection through its proven hand sanitisers that are central to the implementation of its effective employee hygiene protocol.

    A number of infectious diseases such as golden staph and flu can be spread from one staff member to another by contaminated hands. Infection control in the workplace aims to prevent ‘bugs’ from coming into contact with a person in the first place. Employers are obliged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (2004) to provide a safe workplace for their employees, including the provision of adequate infection control procedures and the right equipment and training.

    Deb estimates its products are used over 100 million times worldwide with three million Australians using a Deb manufactured product daily or eight million times daily, with usage spanning all workplaces and public facilities, including industrial, healthcare, food and commercial sectors.