In the past 11 years, research from the Health Hand Washing Survey indicates that hand washing habits have increased dramatically amongst Americans. The reason for this increase is the need to protect themselves from flu outbreaks. Amidst this coronavirus pandemic, this is excellent news. However, this raises the question – Are facilities prepared to sustain the new age of hand washing when everything goes back to normal?
The Remarkable Growth in Hand Washing Habits from 2009 to 2020
A survey done in 2009 showed that only 45% of Americans washed their hands to prevent themselves from getting and spreading the flu. 10 years later, this number rose to 79%. When asked, 50% of Americans admitted that the media played a tremendous role in influencing their hand washing habits. In a comparison of men to women, the latter’s hand washing habits were more likely to be influenced by media coverage of flu outbreaks.
According to the director of the strategy and corporate development at Bradley Corp, Jon Dommisse, flu outbreaks in 2018, 2015 and 2009 are the main reason why hand washing habits have increased here in the US.
He also says that the current spread of the coronavirus has improved hand hygiene. And in the coming weeks, public facilities such as schools, stores, workplaces, and food joints should provide hand washing services. Hand hygiene shouldn’t only be implemented at home but in workplaces as well.
The New Era of Hand Washing
From the findings of the 11 years of Healthy Hand Washing Survey, below are some of the recommendations on how facilities can encourage hand washing in public washrooms.
1. Proper Placement of Hand Washing Signage
At least 40% of Americans have said that hand washing signage is likely to encourage them to engage in such.
2. Clean and Functional Restrooms
Dirty and non-functional washrooms are amongst the two main reasons why people avoid washing their hands. Public facility managers should put up leak detection measures, identify sinks that are not functioning and other problems. Emergency plumbing services such as drain cleaning should be the best course of action.
3. Integrating Touchless Hand Washing Fixtures
Although keeping washroom sinks clean and functioning is a deal-breaker, integrating touchless fixtures is also important. Did you know that 44% of Americans flush toilets with their foot to avoid touching the flushers? Another 65% use paper towels when touching door handles and faucets. There is no doubt that people will do anything to avoid being in contact with germs. And this is why integrating touchless hand washing fixtures is mandatory in public restrooms.
According to Dommisse, despite the tremendous improvement in hand washing habits in the past 11 years. The onset of the coronavirus is a game-changer. To safeguard our loved ones and the community, we should embrace proper hand washing habits.
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