HEWI MAG / NEWS
How to perform hygienic hand disinfection successfully and safely
The Corona crisis has led to a breakthrough on the subject of hygiene. And not just in the public sector, but the private sector as well. It’s not that easy to carry out hygienic hand disinfection effectively - at least in a way that germs and bacteria are reliably eliminated. Here are some of the things you need to bear in mind to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses - especially in washrooms with high public traffic.
Since 2009, the anniversary of "International Hand Hygiene Day" - initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been the 5th May. It’s the day the WHO wants to remind all health workers of the relevance of this topic even more than usual. It also wants to draw attention to the fact that hygienic hand disinfection is still considered to be the most effective measure for breaking chains of infection.
Why is hygienic hand disinfection so important?
The fact that the WHO has created a day for hand hygiene already shows how vitally important hand disinfection is for good health. Effective hygiene specifically kills germs on the hands and is far more effective than simply washing hands with soap. People transmit about 80 percent of all infections via their hands, which is why hand hygiene is particularly important in the prevention of infections. If you disinfect your hands regularly, you can break that chain of infection. Because bacteria, viruses and other potentially harmful micro-organisms can be found everywhere - whether on door handles, table surfaces or in washrooms. The risk is particularly high in professions where there is regular close contact with customers or patients, for example in catering or healthcare. Disinfection is not just good manners, it is a legal obligation. This is the most fundamental way of protecting yourself and others from diseases.
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How do you disinfect your hands properly?
Many people make two basic mistakes when disinfecting their hands: firstly, they don’t rub every part of the skin sufficiently with disinfectant, and on the other hand, if they do, they don’t do it for long enough.
The EN 1500 standard applies to hand disinfection. It specifies a certain standard for hygienic hand disinfection, which consists of six steps:
Step 1: Remove any jewellery, bracelets and watch. To disinfect the hands, apply a sufficient amount of the agent to the curved surface of your hand. Then place both palms on top of each other and rub the disinfectant between the palms and, if necessary, also on the wrists.
Step 2: Place the right palm on the back of the left hand. With the fingers of the right hand, reach into the spaces between the palms of the left hand. Now move the right hand back and forth so that the disinfectant reaches the sides of both hands. Repeat this process with the other hand.
Step 3: Now place palm on palm with interlaced, spread fingers.
Step 4: In this step, interlace the outside of the fingers on the opposite palms.
Step 5: Now turn to the thumb. By rubbing the right thumb in circles in the closed palm of the left hand, you also disinfect this area of your hand. Then repeat the process with your left thumb.
Step 6: Finally, close your fingertips and rub your right hand in your left palm - and vice versa.
You should allow about 5 seconds for each of these steps. Note that for hand disinfection, it is essential that the hands are dry beforehand. You should repeat the actions described at each step about five times to achieve a total of 30 seconds of disinfection time. During the entire action, the hands should be moist from the disinfectant - otherwise you will have to reapply hand disinfectant.
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Do you need support in planning a bathroom? Or with regard to hygienic products? Feel free to contact one of our badplus-Partners who will be happy to help you with your plans. You can also find our partners near you.
Would you also like to know more about which products, for example for public buildings, are particularly suitable for disinfecting your hands hygienically and safely? Find out more in our article.