The most effective way to wash your hands and sanitise them correctly
5 May, 2020

As our country emerges from a full and total lockdown into a situation where some stringent regulations are relaxed ever so slightly, those businesses who’ve been green lit to work now face the seemingly daunting task of readying themselves, their premises and – most importantly – their employees, for a new way of working.

Your employees mean everything

And not just because they are the literal beating heart of your business. You can deep clean your premises every day, disinfect the surfaces every hour on the hour. If your employees don’t have an educated understanding of what you will expect from them from this point on, then every other safety control is meaningless.

It will require an attitude adjustment

Any habit develops from acting it out multiple times. In the same way we are conditioned to brush our teeth first thing in the morning and last thing at night, we must all adopt new hygiene habits if we hope to prevent a rampant spread of COVID-19. This applies to both the home and the office. Every official health organisation, from our own Department of Health, to international bodies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), has stressed the value in effective and efficient handwashing and hand sanitising. It’s therefore essential that every employee understands how and why to wash their hands thoroughly.

How to wash your hands during COVID-19

COVID-19 spreads when mucous or droplets containing the virus get into your body through your eyes, nose or throat. Most often, this happens through your hands. Hands are also one of the most common ways that the virus spreads from one person to the next. One of the cheapest, easiest, and most important ways to prevent the spread of the virus is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

How to wash your hands the right way

  • Step 1: Wet hands with running water
  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including back of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds
  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water
  • Step 5: Dry hands thoroughly with a clean cloth or single-use towel (germs spread more easily from wet skin than from dry skin, so drying your hands completely is an important step)

How long should you wash your hands for?

You should wash your hands for at least 20–30 seconds.

How to use hand sanitiser during COVID-19

Along with washing your hands frequently with soap and water, hand sanitiser will help stop the spread of COVID-19.

When is it good to use hand sanitiser?

  • Hand sanitiser is usually more convenient when you are outside of your house.
  • If you don’t have access to soap and running water, use hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol as the next best option.

Remember: It is important to wash your hands as soon as possible when you do have access to handwashing facilities, and avoid contact with people and surfaces in the meantime.

How to apply hand sanitiser correctly

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount)
  • Rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry

Can you add alcohol to non-alcohol sanitiser?

No. Adding alcohol to an existing non-alcohol hand sanitiser won’t result in an effective product.

As we move through the next few weeks, we’ll continue to share knowledge and advice related to our collective efforts to get the country up and running – safely.

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