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Survey Finds Significant Increase in Handwashing Rates for Infection Control

Are Your Facility’s Sinks Inviting People to Wash Their Hands?

February 22, 2019

Attention facility managers: Are your building’s sinks clean, working properly, and stocked with soap?

Participants in the 10th annual handwashing survey conducted by Bradley Corp. said they wash their hands 87 percent of the time after using a public restroom. What stops them from handwashing the other 13 percent of the time? Survey respondents said they skip the soap and water when the public restroom sinks are dirty, not working, or there is no soap to be found.

Bradley’s annual survey polled 1,264 adults about their handwashing habits in public restrooms and their concerns about germs, colds, and the flu. Participants were from around the country, were 18 years and older, and were fairly evenly split between men and women (49 and 51 percent).

Among those surveyed, 73 percent said they increased their hand hygiene in response to flu and other virus outbreaks. When Bradley conducted its first handwashing survey in 2009, only 45 percent of respondents said they elevated their handwashing in response to illness outbreaks.

Nearly two out of three Americans surveyed in the 2019 survey, or 62 percent, believe their hands are less germy after washing with soap and water than after using hand sanitizer.

Interestingly, in 10 years of Bradley’s surveys, women have consistently outperformed men in hand hygiene, with more men admitting they are more likely to skip soap and simply rinse their hands with water. Forty-four percent of men reported they were more likely to wash their hands after seeing a sign that requires employees to wash before returning to work, compared to 34 percent of women.

 

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