Hygiene and Housekeeping
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Hand hygiene is a way of cleaning one’s hands that substantially reduces potential pathogens (harmful microorganisms) on the hands. Hand hygiene is considered a primary measure for
reducing the risk of transmitting infections from person-to-person.
Follow these five steps every time:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap. Hands could become re-contaminated if placed in a basin of standing water that has been contaminated
through previous use. Therefore, clean running water should be used.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. Soap and friction help lift dirt, grease, and microbes from skin so they can then be rinsed off hands.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Germs can be transferred easier to and from wet hands.
- Use a paper towel or tissue to turn off the faucet and open the bathroom door.
Read the material in each section to discover the correct answer to questions. After answering all questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to see your score and a list of
missed questions. To correct questions, return to the questions, review the material, change answers, and return to the last section to recheck the results. Do not refresh these pages or you'll have to answer all questions again.
If soap and water is not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer which contains at least 60% alcohol. Click to enlarge.
As mentioned earlier, washing hands with soap and water is the best defense against germs, but if it is not available to you, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer which contains at least 60% alcohol.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However, there are some things to be aware of. Here are some examples:
- Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs. Soap and water is more effective to remove certain kinds of germs, such as Cryptosporidium,
norovirus, and Clostridium difficile.
- Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
- Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer
- Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
When cleaning and disinfecting, focus on surfaces that frequently contact people’s bare skin.
When cleaning and disinfecting, focus on surfaces that frequently contact people’s bare skin like desks, chairs, benches, faucets, light switches and remote controls. Also, make
sure to clean any surfaces that could encounter uncovered wounds or cuts.
Here are some other important things to know when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout your work area:
- Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces germs and should not be used for other purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
- If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
- For disinfection, you can use:
- most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective
- alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
- a bleach solution by mixing:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water; or
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Important note: Do not mix bleach with other chemical, such as alcohol or vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction could release toxic gases that are harmful
- For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces.
Healthy Habits to Help Prevent Sickness
We will go more in-depth later in this course about prevention techniques, but here are a few ways to protect yourself and your co-workers and help stop the spread of germs while at work:
- Find out about your employer’s plans if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs and whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site.
- Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, including doorknobs, keyboards, and phones, to help remove germs.
- Make sure your workplace has an adequate supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes.
- Train others on how to do your job so they can cover for you in case you or a family member gets sick and you have to stay home.
- If you begin to feel sick while at work, go home as soon as possible.
Check your Work
Click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and recheck your answers.