Good hand hygiene from KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL*
Britain’s office workers are at just as much risk of catching germs from shaking hands as its Olympic athletes are, according to KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL*.
The British Olympic Association provoked a flurry of news headlines last week when Team GB’s Chief Medical Officer, Ian McCurdie, advised athletes to avoid shaking hands with rivals at this summer’s games in case they contracted bugs that could lead to illness. It later emerged that the BOA would be issuing competitors with portable sanitizers to help keep their hands germ-free before and after events.
But KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* says it isn’t only elite sportsmen and women who should be concerned about the spread of bad bacteria when ‘pressing the flesh’. Every day, millions of people in offices up and down Britain greet their colleagues, clients and suppliers with a handshake and, says the company, they are just as much at risk from exchanging germs as the athletes in Team GB.
“Hand-to-hand contact is one way to transmit colds, flu and stomach bugs, and this means shaking hands does carry a certain amount of risk of passing on an infection,” says Richard Millard, Platform Leader for EMEA at KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL*. “This is just as much the case in an office environment as on the sports field. But whereas athletes stand to miss out on a medal if they fall ill, in the office absenteeism costs companies more than £1,000 per employee, per year, adding up to billions of pounds in lost productivity every year.”
To help businesses minimise the spread of infection in the workplace, and in turn reduce absenteeism caused by illness, KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* has launched the HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT*. This ground-breaking new initiative is designed to show businesses how taking a few simple steps to eradicate harmful germs from the office environment could cut absenteeism and raise both staff satisfaction and productivity levels.
Businesses who sign up to the HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT* will be offered the opportunity to receive a free comprehensive assessment of their whole working environment, from reception desks to individual workstations, conducted by a specially trained KIMBERLY-CLARK PROFESSIONAL* Wellness Consultant. Following this visit, the Wellness Consultant will make tailored recommendations on where to place hygiene products such as hand sanitizers and desk wipes.
Richard added: “In sport, as in every day office life, shaking hands is an important part of how we interact with people. As such, we think it’s important that people understand that while it can result in the spread of germs, a few simple steps can minimise the risk of catching an infection. We fully endorse the British Olympic Association’s decision to issue hand sanitizers to athletes at the Olympics. Our HEALTHY WORKPLACE PROJECT* will help businesses see how they, too, can take proactive steps to make sure their own teams stay healthy and happy in the workplace.”