Firms across Northamptonshire are this week being told to ‘clean up their act’ as part of National Handwashing Awareness Week.
According to figures, UK employers spend more than £9 billion every year in sick pay and associated costs and Northamptonshire business representatives are keen to get the message out that hand hygiene is a primary measure in reducing infection.
David Lawrence, managing director of office cleaning company, LCS Northampton, said. ““Having a business with healthy staff is key to success in the current economic environment. National Handwashing Awareness week is a UK-wide initiative to improve a simple procedure in the workplace that can radically improve health.”
“Annual costs of £9 billion are the equivalent of £692 per employee. Together with the latest research from Business in the Community showing that healthier businesses do better than their competitors it is more important than ever to do all we can to improve health in the workplace.”
Firms are being encouraged to encourage their staff, whatever their profession, to keep their hands clean, especially after using the toilet and before consuming food. Just a few simple steps such as having soap in staff washrooms and hand sanitizer available can make a big difference to staff sickness rates.
Researchers this year also discovered that are more bacteria on the average mobile phone than you will find in a toilet.
In tests there was up to 10 times the amount of bugs - which can cause nausea and stomach problems - than were present in a lavatory.
Under the Environmental Protection Act of 1990 an employer has a ‘duty of care’ to provide washroom services for its staff.