Stories

Infection Prevention in the Workplace – Preventing the Next Outbreak

Infection prevention in the workplace has never been more vital. Many countries are trying to adjust to the new reality left by COVID-19. The global economy, as well as individual markets, has taken a hit with many factories and stores closing down during the pandemic in an attempt to stop the spread of the dangerous illness. Although COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the issue of infection prevention, there are other germs and viruses transmitted through bodily fluids which can contaminate surfaces, as well as airborne viruses. These infectious diseases have been here all along but were not, for some reason, at the forefront of every worker and employer’s thoughts. Now that COVID-19 has shown the public the destructive force and swiftness of spread, infection prevention is a top concern for many businesses and organizations.

Businesses can take a number of steps to ensure that their employees minimize the spread of germs and viruses in their facilities, even if they are carriers.

A common practice in many facilities involves washing hands before entering the premise. This helps workers by ensuring that they have clean hands that won’t infect surfaces inside. This tactic isn’t 100% useful, because if someone is an unsuspecting carrier, he will continue to infect surfaces and others throughout the day. Washing hands once a day is sadly not enough.

Latex gloves are a solution many businesses turn to. Aside from being bad for the environment, taking up to 100 years to decompose, latex gloves are unhygienic if they are not used correctly. The gloves must be stored at appropriate temperatures, put on and taken off carefully, they are not to be washed in fear of tearing, and they are to be changed regularly. Believe it or not, gloves can still transmit germs from one person to another and to surfaces. This is why they must be changed frequently, a rule which most employees using gloves don’t follow. On top of wasting finite resources, latex gloves are not the most useful solution to infection prevention.

Workplace norms must change to encourage sick days. Employees come to work sick because of company norms idealizing the act as a symbol of dedication and hard work. The spread of infections can happen even when there’s an asymptomatic carrier – but to encourage a symptomatic worker to come in to work and spread his illness to others is not recommended in the least.

Because humans interact with their environment through their hands, it is likely for hands to carry germs and viruses. Discouraging employees from coughing and sneezing into their hands – as well as shaking hands with one another – is another form of infection prevention. It is impossible to stop employees from working with their hands, though, and this is why hand hygiene needs to be a top priority in the effort to prevent infections from spreading in the workplace. Smart handwashing machines can help with this.

Soapy offers a solution to ensure a frequent and efficient hand wash cycle. Soapy has developed the CleanMachine. The revolutionary device dispenses the correct amount of soap and warm water needed for a perfect wash. It also utilizes AI technology to show the washer which areas of the skin need scrubbing, as well as timing the length of time needed for an efficient hand wash. The CleanMachine has a facial recognition feature, allowing managers to track how many times their employees washed their hands throughout the workday. It is easy to install and doesn’t require any external help. If you want to learn more about the CleanMachine, you can contact us here.

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