As workers return to the physical workplace amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of illness will be top of mind for many. Using hand sanitizer is one strategy that will cut the risk. How can it help? To find out, Safety+Health spoke with Brandon Jones, vice president of sales and marketing at Kutol Products. Here’s what he had to say.
What do you wish employers and workers better understood about using hand sanitizers in the workplace?
It is critically important to follow proper hand-cleaning steps to limit the spread of germs in the workplace. Now is not the time to ease up on these practices! Making hand sanitizer more readily available throughout a facility can promote better hand care. Consider placing hand sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas, entrances and exits, and spaces without access to water. Place portable sanitizer bottles on counters, desks and in common spaces. Users should put enough sanitizer on to fully cover their hands and rub together until dry (about 20 seconds). These efforts provide an added layer of protection for those working, patronizing and visiting a location.
What concerns or questions are customers coming to you with about sanitizers, and what advice do you provide?
Quality concerns surrounding commercial hand sanitizers have been raised. We know from the supply issues during COVID-19, as well as the Food and Drug Administration’s “Do Not Use” list, that not all hand sanitizers are created equal. Inexperienced, first-time sanitizer producers flooded the market during the pandemic – some even offered sanitizers with toxic ingredients such as methanol (wood alcohol). FDA has stated that these sanitizers are unsafe for use and should be avoided. Consumers, purchasers and facility managers can easily identify safer, more eco-friendly hand sanitizers by looking for specific active ingredients: ethanol or ethyl alcohol along with water.
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