Yes, handwashing with soap has been scientifically proven to prevent the spread of infections. Dirty hands are great carriers of germs. By frequently touching our eyes, nose, and mouth, these germs can go inside the body and cause an infection.
Germs can spread rapidly -
As per CDC (Center For Disease Control and Prevention), hand washing helps prevent diarrhea, gastrointestinal illness, respiratory infections and may even prevent skin and eye infections.
Handwashing laws are state-specific in America. You will have to check with your state or local health department for any handwashing requirements included in their health codes. To comply with the state health standards, it may be necessary for employers/property owners to ensure everyone washes hands in their facility. Many states follow FDA’s food code that requires hand washing by food-handling employees. Such laws are mostly applicable to the healthcare or food industry.
For example - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation on Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, 29 CFR 1910.1030, requires that "employers shall provide handwashing facilities which are readily accessible to employees" and "ensure that employees wash their hands immediately or as soon as feasible after removal of gloves or other personal protective equipment".
According to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing is more effective than hand sanitization. Hand sanitizers with at least 60% of alcohol content are effective in controlling bacteria on hands in some situations but not eliminate all types of germs. Also, hand sanitizers are not sufficient in cleaning heavily soiled hands, such as after people handle food, play sports, work in the garden, or go camping or fishing.
Properly washing hands with soap and water removes caked-on dirt and grime better than hand sanitizers. In fact, hand sanitizers can be used as an added step after washing hands to ensure that hands are thoroughly cleaned.
Many people are simply forgetful or complacent to wash their hands after using the bathroom, before and after eating meals or preparing food. Therefore, handwashing can be promoted through behavioral science. Posting Hand Washing Signs in places where you generally have to wash hands after engaging in an activity is an effective solution. Generic handwashing signs must be installed in -
Some of the specific facilities where hand washing signs are necessary are -
A mobile hand washing station should include the following things -
Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 20 seconds is the safe time limit to remove harmful germs and chemicals from your hands. A shorter time may not be sufficient enough to remove all germs.
This is because hands have a lot of cracks and crevices. Viruses thrive on being able to inhabit tiny spaces, abundant on the hands.
Washing for 20 seconds gives the soap and water molecules enough time to get into all of these spaces. Therefore, scrub all areas of your hands, including palms, backs of the hands, between the fingers, and under the fingernails in 20 seconds.