Hand sanitising and surface sanitising, choices and options

Outsource Safety LtdSafety newsHand sanitising and surface sanitising, choices and options
May 12, 2020 Posted by Roger Hart

We’re beginning the process of returning to work.  As we do so we have choices to make and Hand sanitising and surface sanitisingwe also face shortages of supplies including those of what to supply and use for hand sanitising and surface sanitising.  We know that the message until now has been based on hand washing and now is a good time to briefly clarify what good looks like.

Last week we issued detailed guidance in the form of a risk management map for returning to work complete with induction presentation in PowerPoint, signage, checklists and other supporting documents to all those clients on retained support under our Safety~net competent person service.  If you are a retained client and haven’t got a copy yet please contact us.

Hand sanitising and surface sanitising, choices and options

Handwashing with soap and water remains the method of choice but not all workplaces and work types enable this.  Those working off site or in construction will sometimes find it difficult to wash hands with soap and water.  Use the table below to help you make an informed choice on how to help protect your staff.

Type:Alcohol based hand sanitisers (gel type)Alcohol based surface sanitisersNon alcohol based sanitisersSoap and water
Formulation notes:Must be at least 60% alcohol and preferably 70%, known to be effective if formulation correctMust be at least 60% alcohol and preferably 70%, can be 80%, known to be effective if formulation correctUses quarternary ammonium compounds (usually benzalkonium chloride) instead of alcoholThe best choice for fixed workplaces, use whenever practicable,easily available, low cost, known to be effective
Best for:Higher (£50-65 for 5 litres)Medium (£30-45 for 5 litres)Very lowGeneral use when based on a fixed site
Limitations:Prolonged use on skin likely to cause dermatitis, use soap and water whenever practicable, carry moisturiserProlonged use on skin likely to cause dermatitis, use on surfaces onlyNot as effective against some bacteria and viruses, use with cautionNeed access to a sink and hand drying
Cost:Higher (£50-65 for 5 litres)Medium (£30-45 for 5 litres)Low (£20-£30 for 5 litres)Very low
Use when:Use when soap and water washing is not practicableUse for high contact surfacesA potential alternative for regular use on more sensitive individuals but not as effective - caution!The best solution if a fixed workplace subject to wash time of 20 seconds and good hand drying

We hope that this information helps you.  If you have any questions relating to Coronavirus please contact your retained safety consultant if you are a member of our Safety~net competent person service. We have a number of documents available for retained clients including model risk assessments, flow charts on isolation, administering first aid and home working, toolbox talks for office-based and field-based staff and similar documents which are being developed each day.  We’re still open, our phone lines are live and we’re ready to help when needed.

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