Due to COVID-19, the washing of hands and the use of hand sanitisers is now widespread in the UK. This blog post provides a quick guide on hand sanitisers and their usefulness. However, there is much more in-depth information available on official websites. One place we recommend is the HSE website from the UK Government: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/hand-sanitiser/index.htm
Hand sanitiser or hand gel is certainly a useful method to help stop the spread of harmful germs and viruses. It is therefore definitely worth encouraging customers to use it when entering your business. However, as a worker, employee or business owner, it should be noted that depending on how dirty your hands are, hand sanitiser does not necessarily remove harmful germs of viruses. If other precautions are taken, the use of hand sanitisers is certainly successful, such as in an office or medical environment. Additional measures include wearing gloves, frequently washing hands or dealing with jobs that do not require touching items that may soil hands.
Should your job require working outdoors or handling food, plants, sports equipment, harmful chemicals or metals, always wash your hands. Many items you handle can soil your hands with certain chemicals or microbes that antibacterial hand sanitiser can only help remove.
According to the CDC website, “[t]he steps for hand sanitiser use are based on a simplified procedure… Instructing people to cover all surfaces of both hands with hand sanitiser has been found to provide similar disinfection effectiveness as providing detailed steps for rubbing-in hand sanitiser.”
When using hand sanitiser, squeeze or pump a small amount into the centre of one palm. Rub your hands together palm-to-palm, then wash the backs of both your hands and between the fingers. Next, rub your hands together palm-to-palm with fingers interlocking, then clasp your hands together and rub. Clean around the thumbs, rub your fingertips into the palms of your hands and finally rub around the wrists.
There are many useful images, graphs and videos online for you to follow – one video we suggest is by Babylon Health (UK).
Guidelines on the use of hand sanitiser and hand washing can vary – from a domestic, public, work or industry setting. If you work in the servicing or medical sector, you may need to wash your hands more regularly. This includes in between clients/guests or in between the handling of items such as drinks or food. Should you work in an industry that has a regulatory body, please check which regulations you need to be following.
For more general guidelines, hand sanitiser and hand washing should take place in a number of situations. For example: in between handling doors, entering and exiting buildings or rooms, and before and after eating. If you interact with something/someone and are unable to wash or sanitise your hands, you can practice other measures. These include not touching your face and social distancing from others.
Washing your hands with soap and warm water is the golden standard – however it’s not always practical. You may not have the facility to provide your staff with a place to do this easily. You can’t do this in a car or on the move, around electrical equipment or with customers constantly entering and leaving your premises. As such, hand sanitiser is recommended for use when hand washing is difficult or not available.
While it is shown that sanitisers with up to 60-95% alcohol are effective against certain microbes like COVID-19, some non-alcohol sanitisers are also capable of providing the same results. However, we would heavily advise that you buy these from trusted sources. For example, the non-alcohol sanitisers that we stock and supply come from highly recommended manufacturers. For instance, companies such as Sursol™ undergo rigorous testing and produce chemical products that meet certain criteria. Medical professionals trust them and as such, we feel fit to supply them to you too.