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Sunday, 23 July 2017

New insight into hospital and healthcare hygiene challenges

New insight into hospital and healthcare hygiene challenges

21 July 2017
Cleaning Matters has published the results of a survey that explores the biggest challenges facing the UK hospital and healthcare cleaning sector.

The online survey was sent out in May 2017 to readers of Cleaning Matters as well as members of the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp) to identify their biggest concerns at a time when hospitals and healthcare establishments are being pushed to the brink.
Not only is the sector facing intense pressure to cut the number of hospital acquired infections (HCAIs) and combat the rise of antimicrobial resistance, but it is trying to accommodate growing demand for its services – while reducing its spending.
With effective cleaning and hygiene practices being essential to infection prevention and control, we asked cleaning professionals what the sector can do in order to deliver the standards required.
According to the findings, 40% of healthcare cleaning professionals believe Multi-Resistant Organisms (MROs) to be the most difficult HCAI to prevent and control through proper cleaning and hygiene practices. Norovirus and the flu came second with 24% of the votes.
Half of those surveyed (49%) also see the enforcement of good hand hygiene practices among staff, patients and visitors as the biggest challenge that can lead to cross-contamination in an establishment.
The most popular solutions to deal with this are investment in training and investment in hygiene awareness to better educate staff, patients and visitors.
While the responsibility on the shoulders of the cleaning industry operating in this sector is already considerable and could grow exponentially, half of those surveyed  (50%) are optimistic that healthcare cleaning professionals can deliver infection reductions in a climate of NHS budget cuts.
Better staff training and improving staff morale are the best ways to achieve the productivity gains needed to deliver better performance for less money, the results reveal.
The findings also highlight strong support for a basic hygiene standard that cleaning operatives have to pass in order to work in the sector.
To read the full report online please click here.

55% of employees have been asked to clean their workspace

55% of employees have been asked to clean their workspace

23 June 2017
More than half of British workers have been asked to clean their place of work by their boss despite it not being in their job description, according to new research.

A survey of 1,000 UK workers carried out by interiors etailer Furniture123.co.uk found British employees are losing 13 working hours per year cleaning their office or workspace.
Despite 85% claiming their company employs a cleaner, employees across the UK spend 3 minutes per working day on average cleaning their office or workspace.
Cleaning desks topped the list as the most common cleaning task UK workers are asked to carry out, with 85% doing this weekly.
52% of employees say they are asked to clean communal kitchen or food preparation spaces every week, while 47% say they are asked to vacuum weekly.
Less common but still interestingly, 17% say they are asked to take time out of their working week tending to the office plants, while an unfortunate 15% even have to clean the bathroom that they share with colleagues on a weekly basis.
Mark Kelly, marketing manager at Furniture123.co.uk, said: “It is really interesting to see how many British workers are being asked to carry out cleaning tasks by their employers.
“Not only are staff carrying out tasks outside of their job description, it’s eating in to their normal working hours, which in turn will be costing businesses.   
“It’s fair enough for employers to ask their staff to keep their office or workplace tidy and do their best to limit the amount of cleaning required, but it’s likely in most cases to be more cost effective in the long run to hire a professional cleaner to carry out tasks such as vacuuming, and leave workers to do the job they are hired to do.”
The data revealed those who work in marketing are the most eager cleaners – the average cleaning time rose to 17 hours annually for this industry, compared to those who worked in financial services where the average yearly cleaning time fell to just 9 hours.
The most common cleaning tasks UK workers are asked to carry out on a weekly basis:
  1. Cleaning desks – 85%
  2. Cleaning the kitchen – 52%
  3. Vacuuming – 47%
  4. Loading and emptying the dishwasher – 51%
  5. Emptying bins and recycling – 47%
  6. Tending to office plants (removing dead leaves, watering etc.) – 17%
  7. Cleaning the bathroom – 15%
  8. Cleaning windows – 11%
  9. Tidying communal areas – 10%
  10.  Mopping – 8%

Manufacturer Roundtable:Tips To Minimize Soap Waste


Manufacturer Roundtable


Sponsors
New "Ecolabel" 
Certified Industrial Strength
Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner


Kutol Hand Hygiene
Hand Soaps, Sanitizers & Dispensers.
Green Solutions. Private Branding.


In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by building service contractors

How can janitors minimize soap waste?


Janitors can minimize soap waste by making sure they do not change out the soap or hand sanitizer cartridges until they are totally empty. It is tempting to change the cartridges early to save themselves a trip back to change only the soap during routine maintenance. They could be throwing away 50 to 100 milliliters of usable soap (equal to 25 to 50 hand washes).
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel - Diversified Markets Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Using well-constructed, reliable soap dispensers, preferably using disposable refill bottles, will enable janitors to minimize soap waste. Foaming soaps are better value as you get up to 50 percent more hand washes from a bottle than you would from a lotion or liquid soap.

Foaming soaps also minimize water use because the soap is “pre-lathered” and doesn’t require the user to rub their hands together to create the lather, while the tap is running.
— Greg Hill, product manager, hand care, Zep Sales & Service, Atlanta

Can soaps or hand sanitizers damage counter surfaces or floors?


For facilities concerned with damaging surfaces there are options available to minimize the risk of someone pulling their hand away too fast and causing spills. Floor and wall protectors are typically accessories that can be added to an existing dispenser.  
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Akron, Ohio 
Both products contain ingredients that in small amounts are totally harmless. Over time, buildup of soap residue or hand sanitizer drips onto a counter or the floor, could damage the finish. That is why most soap companies provide "catch trays" or "drip trays" for their soap dispensers.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel - Diversified Markets Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Hand soaps and sanitizers for everyday use, typically won’t affect counter surfaces or floors. However, the alcohol from hand sanitizers may, over time, affect some floor finishes if allowed to drip onto the floor. This is why you often see “drip trays” attached to the floor stands that hold hand sanitizer dispensers. They will catch any drips and allow the alcohol to evaporate.
— Greg Hill, product manager, hand care, Zep Sales & Service, Atlanta

Manufacturer Roundtable:Should Hand Sanitizer Be Placed In Schools, Prisons and Restrooms?


Manufacturer Roundtable



Sponsors
Kutol Hand Hygiene
Hand Soaps, Sanitizers & Dispensers.
Green Solutions. Private Branding.


New "Ecolabel" 
Certified Industrial Strength
Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner


In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by building service contractors

Should schools and prisons use alcohol-based hand sanitizer?


While there are some schools and correctional facilities that shy away from alcohol-based hand sanitizers, it isn’t across the board. We have, in fact, seen significant results achieved with alcohol-based hand sanitizers in school settings. In one study conducted in schools published by the “American Journal of Infection Control,” absenteeism caused by illness was 50.6 person lower in classrooms that used alcohol-based hand sanitizer regularly and implemented a hand hygiene education program vs. classrooms that did not.
Facilities make individual choices based on many factors, but experts like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
While there are non-alcohol formulations, our recommendations typically agree with the experts, especially since so many studies have proven their effectiveness.  
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Akron, Ohio
Based on the testing done by our microbiology lab, non-alcohol hand sanitizers are not effective at killing germs. We tested the "top" selling non-alcohol hand sanitizers and none of them met the 2-log germ kill U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirement. If a facility cannot use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, they should not waste their resources on products that are not effective. They should instead invest in a liquid or foam soap that meets the FDA Monograph for antibacterial hand soaps.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel - Diversified Markets Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Non-alcohol based hand sanitizers are recommended for schools and prisons. There are several active ingredients, but they all work the same way to kill germs on the skin. One active ingredient is benzethonium chloride. Another popular active is quaternary ammonium chloride.
— Greg Hill, product manager, hand care, Zep Sales & Service, Atlanta

Are both and soap and water and hand sanitizer necessary in the restroom?

They are both necessary. A study by the American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), formerly the Soap and Detergent Association, shows that almost a quarter of men and women don’t wash their hands in public restrooms. And 46 percent of people who wash their hands don’t wash long enough to be effective, according to the most recent ACI Clean Hands Report Card. When that happens, germs are transferred from hands to other surfaces throughout the building.  

We find that installing hand sanitizer dispensers at the restroom exit helps reduce the risk of germs leaving the restroom and improves the image of the facility. Because it is in the traffic flow, it is more likely to be used – even by those who choose to not wash.  

Placement of dispensers is critical. The best place is inside the restroom, on the wall by the exit door, next to the door handle, 36- to 46 inches off the floor. That makes it conveniently accessible to encourage use. Hand sanitizers should never be placed near the soap dispensers at the sink, as placement there can be confusing to patrons.
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Akron, Ohio
It is not necessary to use both soap and hand sanitizer in the restroom if the soap is an antibacterial soap. If the soap is not antibacterial, then we do recommend using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to provide better germ protection.  Non-antibacterial soaps do not provide adequate germ-killing required to prevent the spread of disease-causing bacteria. Antibacterial soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizers provide the necessary 99.99 percent germ-kill required by the FDA respectively.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel - Diversified Markets Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.


Soap and water is enough to keep your hands clean for normal everyday activities, like working in an office environment. Hand sanitizers are useful for reducing germs on the hands, and placing these dispensers in high traffic areas, like in office break rooms or by water coolers, increases the frequency of use. Frequent hand washing and sanitizing reduces the spread of germs in the workplace and is especially useful during the winter months to help prevent colds and flu.
— Greg Hill, product manager, hand care, Zep Sales & Service, Atlanta
Our recommendation is that hand sanitizers should not be put in a restroom because if they are available there is a danger that they will be used in place of, or instead of, hand washing. Hand washing should always be preferred hygiene method after using the bathroom.
— Ron Shuster, product line director, STOKO Skin Care by Evonik, Greensboro, N.C.

Manufacturer Roundtable:Hand Washing: How To Encourage Restroom Users


Manufacturer Roundtable



Sponsors
Kutol Hand Hygiene
Hand Soaps, Sanitizers & Dispensers.
Green Solutions. Private Branding.


New "Ecolabel" 
Certified Industrial Strength
Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner


In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by building service contractors

How can restroom users be encouraged to always wash their hands and for the minimum 15 seconds?


This is a difficult question to answer as we can only do so much to encourage people to wash their hands properly. Research shows that as high as 40 percent of people leave a restroom without washing their hands at all. Educational programs in schools can be effective. If children are taught at an early age to wash their hands properly they will hopefully carry that habit with them through life.

Adults can be encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly as they can better understand the connection between bacteria and illness, as well as the ways germs are spread, like from hand to hand contact. However, there is a fine line between educating and lecturing people. Posters in restrooms with tips on how to properly wash your hands can be helpful, but too many graphic references to germs and illness can be a turnoff.
— Greg Hill, product manager, hand care, Zep Sales & Service, Atlanta
Through multidisciplinary programs (education, reinforcement, documentation) that make proper hand hygiene a priority.
— Ron Shuster, product line director, STOKO Skin Care by Evonik, Greensboro, N.C.
A study by the American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), formerly the Soap and Detergent Association, shows that 1 in 4 people who use the restroom do not wash their hands. And 46 percent of people who wash their hands don’t wash long enough to be effective, according to the most recent ACI Clean Hands Report Card. Behavior change is complex. 

In markets such as healthcare, where hand hygiene compliance is critical, we can implement comprehensive programs that include education, awareness and compliance monitoring.
A key in establishing good habits is establishing them early. That’s why we offer an engaging curriculum to schools to teach children the benefits of good hand hygiene and to establish habits early in life. 
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Akron, Ohio
Strategically placed signs on the dispensers or on the mirrors that will encourage them to read about interesting facts or a riddle as they are washing their hands. The schools teach elementary students to sing the alphabet or sing “Happy Birthday” three times to make sure they wash their hands for 15 to 20 seconds.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel - Diversified Markets Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Are antibacterial soaps necessary?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that for regular hand washing, soap and water is sufficient. However, in many industries, like food manufacturing and processing plants, the use of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers is federally mandated. Most restaurant patrons would prefer the person preparing their meal to have used an anti-bacterial soap when they used the restroom, to minimize any chance of food poisoning or bacterial cross-contamination.

There is no disadvantage to using anti-bacterial products. In the home or office, it’s really a matter of personal preference and price, since antibacterial ingredients do add cost.
— Greg Hill, product manager, hand care, Zep Sales & Service, Atlanta
Antibacterial soaps are appropriate in certain high-risk settings such as health care or food processing where the consequences of germ or bacterial transfer are higher. However, good hand hygiene education and practices far outweigh the issue of whether an antibacterial soap is being used. The most important issues are whether hand washing is being performed when it should and if proper hand wash techniques are being utilized. There is too much emphasis on type of product and not nearly enough emphasis on education and compliance.
— Ron Shuster, product line director, STOKO Skin Care by Evonik, Greensboro, N.C.
Whether or not facilities provide antibacterial soap to patrons is a matter of choice. More and more facilities are also placing hand sanitizer dispensers near the restroom exit. People who have washed use it to kill germs that may have been left behind. And it provides a convenient option for those who choose not to wash. 
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Akron, Ohio
Antibacterial soaps are necessary to prevent the spread of diseases from hand-to-face contact. Any and every facility should provide antibacterial soap options. There are four particular facilities that should provide antibacterial soaps at all costs: airports, schools, restaurants and hospitals.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel - Diversified Markets Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Manufacturer Roundtable :Hand Sanitizer: What Makes It Green?


Manufacturer Roundtable
·         Hand Sanitizer: What Makes It Green?
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BY CP EDITORIAL STAFF


Sponsors
Kutol Hand Hygiene
Hand Soaps, Sanitizers & Dispensers.
Green Solutions. Private Branding.
New "Ecolabel" 
Certified Industrial Strength
Heavy Duty Hand Cleaner
In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by building service contractors
How can hand sanitizer be considered green?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be looked at as green based on their two primary components: Ethanol or Ethyl alcohol is the primary ingredient and is typically biobased (as an example, derived from corn), and typically the number two ingredient is water. Both plant-based ethanol and water are considered renewable, therefore the product can be considered green.
— Ron Shuster, product line director, STOKO Skin Care by Evonik, Greensboro, N.C.

EcoLogo developed the standard for certifying hand sanitizers based on a combination of factors, including the use of less intrusive raw materials, a reduction of environmental hazards and an increase of product recyclability.  
Formulation highlights include:
•    Cannot use raw materials like Quats and triclosan, which are on the “prohibited substances” list;
•    Must use biobased content;
•    Must be readily biodegradable; and
•    Must be fragrance- and dye-free.

Packaging highlights include:
•    Bulk is excluded;
•    Bottle size minimum is 8 fluid ounces;
•    Shippers must contain minimum 20 percent PCR;
•    Primary packaging must be recyclable; and
•    No secondary packaging.
— Joe Drenik, marketing communications and services senior director, GOJO Industries, Akron, Ohio

Hand sanitizers are considered green because most of the active ingredients are derived from natural sources. A majority of hand sanitizers do not contain fragrances or dyes, which adds to the “environmentally-friendly” position.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel - Diversified Markets Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.

There’s nothing particularly green about an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Some companies make a green “claim” for using alcohol from “renewable resources.” In North America this usually means alcohol derived from corn. Countries like Brazil use sugar cane to produce alcohol.
— Greg Hill, product manager, hand care, Zep Sales & Service, Atlanta

Why does hand sanitizer expire and what is its typical shelf life?
All drug products have to have expiration dates. These dates are established based on stability testing of the active ingredients of the drug product over a certain period of time.
— Ron Shuster, product line director, STOKO Skin Care by Evonik, Greensboro, N.C.

Hand sanitizers, both alcohol and non-alcohol versions, expire because the active ingredient that provides the germ-killing action is reduced over time due to evaporation or chemical degradation. Hand sanitizers should not be used past their expiration without a confirmatory lab test to accurately measure if the active levels still meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Monograph has been performed.
Most hand sanitizers have a three-year shelf life. The FDA requires that an alcohol-based hand sanitizer maintain a minimum alcohol level of 62 percent to be considered 99.99 percent effective. Some alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain more than 62 percent alcohol to achieve a longer shelf life. Contrary to popular belief, those hand sanitizers with more than 62 percent alcohol are not more effective because they have higher levels of alcohol. They just simply have a longer shelf life. Non-alcohol hand sanitizer containing Benzalkonium Chloride (BZC) must not exceed 0.13 percent BZC.
— Ronald Lewis, associate brand manager, Henkel - Diversified Markets Division, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Alcohol sanitizers are regulated by the FDA’s Tentative Final Monograph (TFM). It states they must contain at least 60 percent alcohol to kill germs. Most manufacturers put expiration dates on their products because there is chance that the alcohol level may drop below 60 percent, with time. For example, if the bottle cap is left open there could be some alcohol evaporation, due to contact with air.

In theory, if a bottle is kept tightly closed between uses, the product could be effective for several years.

Typically, manufacturers will state a two-year “shelf life” although the product may be effective longer than that.

As long as the level of alcohol remains at or above 60 percent, the product will work as advertised. Since the FDA is very strict with the claims that can be made for products like hand sanitizers, most companies prefer to state a shelf life since they cannot control how the end user or customer uses the product.
— Greg Hill, product manager, hand care, Zep Sales & Service, Atlanta