The simple answer to this question is everyone, but there are some industries where hand washing is frequently performed for pathogen removal and where hand hygiene is especially critical.
Pathogen Reduction and Hand Health
Did you know that the health of the skin on your hands has a direct impact on pathogen removal? When hands are dry or cracked, pathogens are more likely to remain on the hands, especially if someone does not follow all the proper hand washing steps. This can be especially dangerous for people working in environments where pathogen transmission can be deadly, like those that are handling food or working in medical fields. Therefore, it is paramount that these people pay attention to their hand health to avoid the spread of these pathogens to others.
Different methods of handwashing can have detrimental impacts for hand health as well. Take hand sanitizers for example. Many hand sanitizers contain alcohol which can easily dry out hands and exacerbate any cracks or wounds. Even with hand soaps it’s key to ensure that they contain ingredients that won’t irritate or dry out the skin. That is why our UltraPure hand hygiene solution contains synthetic lanolin which helps to moisturize the skin to maintain skin health no matter how frequently you wash your hands.
That’s why it is crucial that one pays attention to the ingredients of the solutions they’re washing their hands with to ensure that the solution they’re using is helping their overall hand health rather than hurting.
Industries Where Hand Health is Especially Important
Anyone who is working in an industry where pathogen transmission may be deadly or in an environment that is public facing must be aware of one’s hand health. There are three main industries that require the need to be extra attentive to hand health: Food Processing, Healthcare, and Childcare.
Hand Health for Food Safety in Food Processing
Food processors handle all the food and beverage items that eventually end up in grocery stores and restaurants around the globe. In these facilities, workers are especially cognizant of the things they could potentially be tracking into and around the facility.
Foodborne illnesses are a main cause of recalls for food processing plants. Unfortunately, recalls related to foodborne pathogens are quite frequent and a lack of proper hand hygiene protocols is often the cause of these events. The CDC estimates 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year in the US alone.
Undeclared food allergens can also make their way into food processing facilities if proper hand washing procedures are not followed. This can also lead to a recall or harm to the consumer. For that reason, the hands that are responsible for touching the food you eat must be in peak hand health condition.
Hand Health for HAIs and Nosocomial Infection Prevention
Doctors and other healthcare professionals are interacting with harmful pathogens daily. One of the main concerns for hospital staff is the spread of these pathogens to staff, visitors, and patients. Hand health and overall hygiene should always be at the top of mind when interacting with people in a healthcare facility.
The World Health Organization has even specified “5 moments of Hand Hygiene” for medical professionals to follow so that risk of spreading HAIs (healthcare-associated infections) can be kept to a minimum. These five moments take place before, during, and after interacting with a patient. A medical professional therefore cannot afford to have poor hand health since their interactions with both patient and staff can have harmful effects on the health and safety of others in the healthcare facility.
Hand Health in Schools, Childcare, and Public Areas
It’s no secret that kids can be messy. But even if kids were not, they still are interacting closely with each other in schools and day care facilities. This type of proximity can be a haven for quick pathogen spread. Therefore, it is imperative that school faculty and administrators are reminding and encouraging students to wash their hands throughout the day to ensure that their overall hand health is being maintained.
Teachers must also be aware of their hand health and hygiene since they can interact with dozens of students in multiple of classes throughout the day. The same type of attentiveness goes for anyone working in a public facing role such as store cashiers, wait staff, flight attendants, and bank tellers to name a few.
How CleanTech® and UltraPure Promote Good Hand Health
UltraPure is the best alternative to commercial hand soap for hand heath. UltraPure is a hand hygiene solution that is free of dyes and fragrances and even contains added skin conditioners to ensure that frequent hand washing does not have detrimental effects on hand health. When used with CleanTech® Automated Handwashing Systems, UltraPure gives the user a near perfect handwash by removing 99.9% of harmful pathogens in just 12 seconds. There is no scrubbing required and the station gives the exact same handwash to every user. So people working in places like food processing facilities can rest assured that their staff is maintaining excellent hand health and hygiene.