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Survey: More than half of workers say colleagues skip handwashing after bathroom breaks

Handwashing in Workplace
Photo: Bradley

Menomonee Falls, WI — It’s common knowledge that handwashing helps prevent the spread of germs in the workplace. But are people taking that message to heart? Not everyone, according to the results of a recent survey.

For its annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey, Bradley Corp., a manufacturer of commercial restroom and emergency safety products, asked 1,035 U.S. adults about their handwashing habits at work and in public restrooms.

Overall, 56 percent of respondents said they frequently or occasionally see colleagues leave the restroom without washing. By gender, 63 percent of men frequently or occasionally observe colleagues leaving the bathroom without washing, compared with 49 percent of women.

When it came to public bathrooms, 38 percent of survey respondents said they frequently see others leaving without washing.

To thoroughly wash your hands, experts recommend using soap, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds and then rinsing under water.

“Handwashing with warm water and soap is a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of contracting viral infections like the flu or the common cold,” medical microbiologist Michael P. McCann, professor of biology at Saint Joseph’s University, said in an Aug. 29 press release from Bradley Corp. “Getting the virus on your hands and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth is a common way people become infected, so effective handwashing can reduce that risk.”

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