How to Wash Your Hands

how to wash your hands

Why is Hand Washing is so Important?

Hand washing is one of the easiest and most effective ways of preventing infection. The tools are simple: Soap and water. Don’t fall lazy on this simple task. By simply washing your hands, you can avoid some very major viruses and illnesses.

Washing your hands is so important; they even do it in space!

Plus, keeping up with frequent hand washing is inexpensive, and greatly reduces the amount of money you could pay on antibiotics or doctor visits. According to the Integrated Benefits Institute, U.S employers spend more than $200 billion each year on “lost productivity” from employee absenteeism due to illness.

Keep in the mind the extra importance you should place on washing your hands before and after preparing food. A very large percentage of foodborne illness outbreaks are spread due to contaminated hands.

When should you Wash Your Hands?

An adequate amount of hand washing is required to be quite frequent as you touch people and all types of objects and surfaces throughout each day. With all of the germs that accumulate on any and all objects, you can infect yourself just by touching your face- your eyes, nose, mouth, etc.

Always wash your hands before:

  • Putting in contacts
  • Eating
  • Cooking
  • Caring for a sick or injured person ( i.e. giving medicine, putting a bandage on someone)

Always wash your hands after:

  • Shaking someone’s hand
  • Handling money
  • Handling garbage/chemicals (anything that can be contaminated)
  • Caring for a sick or injured person ( i.e. giving medicine, putting a bandage on someone)
  • Cooking (especially when handling raw meat and poultry)
  • Touching animals, leashes, or waste
  • Using the restroom
  • Blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing
  • Changing a diaper
  • Touching any publicly used door handles, surfaces, or objects

How to Properly Wash your Hands

  • Step 1. Wet your hands with water (warm water is best)
  • Step 2. Apply soap
  • Step 3. Lather well
  • Step 4. Rub your hands for 20-30 seconds (singing the “happy birthday” song in your head is the perfect amount of time) — *NOTE: Make sure you thoroughly scrub the backs and palms of your hands, your wrists, in between your fingers, and underneath your nails
  • Step 5. Rinse hands thoroughly
  • Step 6. Dry hands with a clean disposable towel or touch-free air dryer — *NOTE: Avoid touching the faucet with your clean hands

Hand Washing in Material Handling

While clean hands are imperative in health and food industries, proper hygiene in the material handing business is just as crucial. Pallets are imported from everywhere in the world and can contain foreign germs and microorganisms that our bodies are not used to, which can result in a dangerous pathogen exposure outbreak.

If contamination were to ensue in a material handling warehouse, vital products to human existence such as food and medication could be seriously infected and shipped to many different places around the world. This could cause disease to spread like wild fire.

In addition to clean hands, another important area to keep clean is the soles of your shoes. Every step you take can further contaminate an area and just as quickly as contaminated hands.

Consider products such as the ones listed below for your warehouse business:

Hand Washing in the Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act’s proposed list of rules for food safety includes the requirement of adequate personal cleanliness and frequent hand washing.

Also, a section of the FSMA will list the requirements that apply for hand-washing facilities, and recommendations for proper disposal of dirty water from hand washing stations.