Hygiene has never been a more crucial factor to safe and efficient operating in manufacturing facilities. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a heightened focus on achieving elevated hygiene standards across the industry has brought new attention to cleaning protocols and resources for the workplace. In particular, ideal handwashing practices and the use of washrooms by workers have been under scrutiny.
In an effort to help manufacturing sites not only achieve hygiene compliance but to also optimise production efficiency at reconfigured sites, health and hygiene company, Essity, the global manufacturer of Tork professional hygiene products, has brought forward a new, comprehensive bundle of hygiene solutions. This includes Tork PeakServe® hand towel system, a range of surface cleaning solutions and sanitiser systems.
What is the risk of infection when using public washrooms?
Studies have shown that COVID-19 spreads easily and sustainably  via small droplets in the air and from touching surfaces that have the virus on them before touching your own mouth or nose . To avoid this surface transmission, regularly washing and disinfecting hands and frequently touched surfaces is essential [3, 4]. For workers in manufacturing facilities, however, this presents a unique dilemma in the form of shared washrooms.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the use of public washrooms could carry a risk of infection as these are easily crowded spaces, frequently visited by many different people. Additionally, washrooms often have poor ventilation and evidence suggests that COVID-19 is more easily transmitted via air in inadequately ventilated environments .
So, on the one hand, washrooms are not ideal places to be, but on the other hand, they should and must be visited for hygienic reasons. All visits should be short and efficient in order to limit exposure time and to help prevent overcrowding. So, how can we make washroom visits in manufacturing facilities safe, efficient and beneficial to workplace productivity and wellbeing?
It starts with the right products and processes
Hand drying is a crucial part of handwashing. This last stage of the process should leave the hands thoroughly dried and hygienic [7, 8] and the best way to achieve this is to use hand towels which not only absorb water but also use manual effects to remove bacteria and viruses. Disposable paper hand towels are generally considered the most efficient solution to achieve this . Of course, there have been discussions regarding the safe use of paper towels and dispensers in washrooms and the risk of self-infection when touching contaminated surfaces or materials.
Hygienically designed dispensers for paper hand towels should be easy to clean and fill, and the dispenser design should allow the user to take the paper product without touching the dispenser itself. Bearing in mind that the length of time spent in public washrooms should be limited, intuitive systems with high-speed delivery of paper towels like touch-free manual hand towel systems are recommended. Reliable and fast access to paper towels also allows the user to take an additional towel that can be used to cover the door handle of the washroom and prevent direct touching of the surface with clean hands when exiting.
The newly expanded line of Tork PeakServe® dispensers was designed to achieve all these requirements. The system leverages revolutionary continuous towel technology and compressed refills, delivering a constant supply of towels readily available to practice thorough hand hygiene without disruptions.
The extended line offers a range of solutions to accommodate the footprint of any high-traffic area, in and outside of the washrooms. Meanwhile, the Tork sanitiser formulations help maintain hygiene compliance and additional resources are available to educate teams on everything from dispenser placement to optimal usage.
To learn more about how you can secure the new hygiene standard, visit www.tork.co.uk/cleancaremanufacturing
- Chan JF, Yuan S, Kok KH, et al. A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet. 2020;395(10223):514-523. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30154-9
- CDC 1 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html.
- Beale S, Johnson AM, Zambon M et al. Hand Hygiene Practices and the Risk of Human Coronavirus Infections in a UK Community Cohort [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review] Welcome Open Research 2020, 5:98 https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15796.1
- Kampf G, Todt D, Pfaender S, Steinmann E. Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. J Hosp Infect. 2020;104(3):246‐251. doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022
- Yao M, Zhang L, Ma J, Zhou L. On airborne transmission and control of SARS-Cov-2. Sci Total Environ. 2020;731:139178. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139178
- Kimmitt PT, Redway KF. Evaluation of the potential for virus dispersal during hand drying: a comparison of three methods, J Appl Microbiol. 2015 120, 478–486. doi/epdf/10.1111/jam.13014
- Huang C, Ma W, Stack S. The hygienic efficacy of different hand-drying methods: a review of the evidence. Mayo Clin Proc. 2012;87(8):791-798. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2012.02.019
- Jensen D, Schaffner D, Danyluk M, Harris L. Efficacy of handwashing duration and drying methods.external icon Int Assn Food Prot. July 2012.
- Moura I, Ewin D, Wilcox M. Small study shows paper towels much more effective at removing viruses than hand dryers. News release 16-APR-2020, European society of clinical microbiology and infectious disease. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-04/esoc-sss041520.php
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