Clean your hands – Prevent the spread of infections

Did you know?

Hand hygiene is one of the simplest ways to stay healthy.

Research has shown that many people do not clean their hands as they should. Cleaning your hands properly is an effective way to reduce your chances of getting sick with influenza or other diseases and to reduce spreading viruses.

  • Did you know that 80% of common infections are spread by our hands?

Germs are a part of every day life. Some bacteria are beneficial and part of our body's natural protection against disease. Other bacteria and viruses cause disease and are commonly introduced to the body when touching hands to the mouth, nose or eyes.

  • Next to immunization, keeping hands clean is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of disease.

Resources

Hand hygiene in the workplace

To increase hand hygiene awareness and encourage behaviour to minimize the spread of germs in your workplace, print and post the Clean Your Hands Workplace Signs. The brightly coloured, germ-like signs have interesting facts on germs and instructions on the proper way to wash hands.

You can place the signs in the workplace washroom, kitchen, on table tops and on equipment. The signs are free to print, trim, and use as needed.

Thank you for promoting a healthy workplace!

Do your part

Prevent the spread

  1. Cough and sneeze into your arm – When you cough and sneeze, you spread germs. These germs (bacteria and viruses) can then lead to others getting sick with the common cold, influenza (the flu), or other respiratory infections.
    • It is estimated that only 34% of people wash their hands after sneezing and coughing, so do your part and cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand.
  2. Stay home when you are sick.
  3. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth after shaking hands or touching hard surfaces like counters and door handles or other surfaces that may harbour influenza and other viruses.
  4. Keep common surfaces clean and disinfected.

Clean your hands the right way

There is more than one way to clean your hands properly –

1. Wash your hands

  • Using soap and warm water, lather your hands and scrub for 15–20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands for 10 seconds in warm running water.
  • Dry with a clean paper towel, turning off water using the paper towel.

2. Clean using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • You can also clean your hands using an alcohol-based sanitizer. Be sure to use one with 60% alcohol or greater.
  • Put some of the hand sanitizer (gel, liquid or foam) on the palm of your hand and rub your hands together.
  • Cover all surfaces including fingers and wrists, and rub until dry (about 15–25 seconds).
  • Hand sanitizers don't work if hands are soiled. When hands are soiled, wash with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a towelette that contains detergent. Then use a hand sanitizer.

image of hand sanitizer bottle