The Importance of Handwashing to Help Reduce Germs – Global Handwashing Day

By SC Johnson Professional

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, which serves as a great reminder for businesses to implement an effective hand hygiene program. A typical person’s hands can carry anywhere from 10,000 to 10 million bacteria.[1] To remove germs and protect yourself against illnesses, it’s crucial to handwash regularly and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) hand hygiene standards.[2]

How to Wash:

In compliance with the CDC’s hand hygiene standards, employees should use soap with warm water and scrub for at least 20 seconds to effectively remove germs and bacteria.

Though using soap and water is one of the most effective ways to handwash,[3] running water isn’t always easily accessible. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol. To prevent skin dryness, opt for products that contain moisturizers.

Watch this short video to learn the proper technique for thorough hand hygiene. 

When to Wash:

SC Johnson Professional developed a Targeted Hygiene Program that addresses moments of high-risk infection. It was inspired by the CDC’s hand hygiene guidelines and the risk management approach for hygiene known as Targeted Hygiene, developed by the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH). To prevent the spread of germs throughout facilities, employees should wash their hands often throughout the day. It’s especially critical to handwash after:

  • Touching common surfaces
  • After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose
  • Returning to and leaving your workspace
  • Getting food prepared
  • Eating food
  • Touchpoints in a restroom
  • Entering and exiting the building
  • Disposing of waste

How to Educate Employees

Effective hand hygiene programs promote employee and customer health. It is essential to prioritize educating employees in the workplace on how to properly perform hand hygiene. SC Johnson Professional offers videos that provide guidelines on handwashing[4] and sanitizing[5]. The short, informational videos take viewers through the step-by-step process of how to thoroughly wash and sanitize hands.

Global Handwashing Day is an annual campaign that promotes and motivates people around the world to improve their handwashing habits. SC Johnson Professional supports this mission though its Targeted Hygiene Program and industry leading skin-care products. To have the greatest impact, organizations should combine cleaning and disinfecting surfaces with effective hand hygiene at the high-risk moments when hands can become contaminated[6].