The 5 Steps of Hand Hygiene at the Office

Hand hygiene at the office is a ritual every office employee should practice daily.

Imagine shaking hands with a coworker that sneezed all over his or her hands and then shakes your hand.

Or the person who walked out of the office restroom with a toilet paper hanging from the rear.

I would probably cut off my hand before shaking theirs.

Most people are not aware that hands carry a lot of germs.

Even when they look clean, there could be over one-thousand bacteria on them.

And the moment you touch someone, an object or a surface, germs spread. Therefore, it is important to wash your hands regularly to ensure you do not spread any germs.

Hand washing is a simple but helpful way to prevent the spread of germs. However, a good number of people do not know how to wash their hands properly.

To help you wash your hands correctly, here are 5 steps of hand hygiene to follow.

The 5 Steps of Hand Hygiene at the Office

As explained above, having clean hands is the best way to ensure they do not spread germs from one person to another.

It is also the best strategy to reduce diarrhea-related diseases and respiratory conditions. Here is how to use the 5 steps of hand hygiene.

Step-1—The first step is wetting your hands with cold or warm clean running water. Once the hands are wet, turn off the water and rub on the soap.

Ensure you apply enough soap to cover all your hand surfaces.

Step-2 – the second and the most significant step is lathering your hands. By rubbing your hands together, you will lather every part of the hands.

However, it is vital to focus on all areas. But the critical areas include the back of your hands, under the nails, and between the fingers.

Step-3—Another essential step is scrubbing the hands. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, April 10). When and How to Wash Your Hands. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html. recommends scrubbing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.

By rubbing the hands for 20 seconds, you will eliminate the germs on your hands. Ensure you rub your hands palm to palm and with fingers interchanged to reach every surface.

Step-4 – the fourth step is rinsing your hands. This step might irrelevant to some people but it is necessary. Therefore, ensure you rinse the hands well with cold or warm clean, running water.

Step-5 – the last step is wiping your hands. Always use a clean, dry towel or an air dry to dry your hands well.

If you do not have running water and soap, you can use a hand sanitizer. However, a good hand-sanitizer should contain at least 60 percent of alcohol.

Just like washing your hands with soap and water, ensure you run the hand sanitizer for a minimum of 20 seconds into your hands.

Which Office Employees Should Practice Hand Hygiene at the Office?

According to health experts, everyone should use the 5 steps of hand hygiene. Whether you are an adult or a child, you need to observe these steps all the time. Keep in mind that you can spread the germs from your workplace to your home, from school to your home, and vice versa.

Therefore, if you would like to protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick, follow the above 5 crucial steps.

If you work in a health facility or you are taking care of a sick person, there are crucial moments when you need to clean your hands. They include:

  1. Before touching the sick person
  2. After touching the sick person
  3. Before performing a cleaning procedure
  4. After seeing body fluid exposure risk
  5. After touching objects, furniture, or anything around the sick person

When should you use these hygiene procedures?

Health experts recommend everyone to use the 5 vital steps of hand hygiene regularly. However, there are specific times when people are vulnerable to catch and spread germs.

These crucial times are:

  • When the hands are dirty – the most obvious time to wash your hands is when the hands are dirty. Hence, after completing a particular task at home, workplace, or school and you notice your hands are dirty, make sure you wash them properly.
  • After using a toilet – you are likely to catch and spread germs after using a toilet at home, school, workplace, or any other place. Hence, wash your hands after going to the restroom.
  • When handling food – whether you are preparing food or you are ready to eat, you need to wash your hands. This includes before and after preparing the food, and after eating.
  • When caring for a sick person – the other important time when you should use the 5 steps of hand hygiene is before and after caring for a sick person, especially those who are vomiting and have diarrhea. Whether it is a child or an elderly person, ensure you wash your hands.
  • After changing a baby diaper – when changing a diaper or cleaning a kid who has used the toilet, you may get germs. Therefore, after the task, make sure you wash your hands properly.
  • After getting into contact with an animal – whether you are feeding your cows, touching animal feeds or waste or playing with your pet, make sure you wash your hands after the chore.
  • After an office meeting- Germs spread when people are in close quarters and shake hands. Take the time to wash your hands after shaking everyone’s hands.

Where should you use the 5 steps of hand hygiene at the office?

These 5 essential steps of hand hygiene need to be followed at home, school, hospital, and in the workplace among other areas.

Nevertheless, people working at health facilities are advised to follow these steps to the letter. This will ensure they protect the patients and themselves against harmful germs.

Why Should Office Workers use the 5 Steps of Hand Hygiene at the Office?

There are many reasons to follow the 5 essential steps of hand hygiene.

According to various researching findings, over 20 percent of respiratory-related illnesses and 30 percent of diarrhea diseases can be prevented by cleaning our hands.

Other Reasons to use the 5 Steps of Hand Hygiene Include:

Your hands are the key routes of germs. Hands ease the spread germs from one area to another quick. But germs can’t spread if you keep washing your hands properly.

Studies show that many people die every day around the world from germ-related conditions.

According to Kids Health. (2020, April 10). Hand Washing: Why It’s So Important. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/hand-washing.html?ref=search. washing our hands prevents the common cold, the flu, Hepatitis A and other illnesses.

Bottom-Line

By following the above 5 steps of hand hygiene at the office, we can stop the spread of germs. We also encourage parents to teach their kids these steps so they can stay healthy.

Therefore, when washing your hands at home, make sure you wash with your kids to teach them how it is done.

If the kids are using hand sanitizers, ensure we supervise them. This is to ensure they do not sip the liquid.

External Resources

Photo by Valeriia Miller, Canva.com.

CDC.gov, Washing your hands. Retrieved on 4/10/2020.

KidsHealth.org, Hand hygiene is important. Retrieved on 4/10/2020.

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