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Experts say take lessons on hand hygiene before going back to work or school

22 May 2020

A free online training tool has been developed by Hand Hygiene Australia to help keep everyone safe as Australians start returning to work and going back to school.

Professor Lindsay Grayson, the Director of Hand Hygiene Australia based at Austin Health, said now is a crucial time to ‘step up’ when it comes to hand hygiene.

“We know hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of diseases like COVID-19,” Professor Grayson said.

“With restrictions lifting and people able to socialise more freely, it’s important everyone realises how small, everyday tasks will help to save lives.

“The ‘COVID Work Safe and Clean’ tool is a free online program that takes people through the simple steps they can follow to help make their workplace or school safe from the risk of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

“Most bugs, bacteria and viruses are transferred between people through either respiratory droplets or on their hands. These bugs can make you sick if you touch your face, or touch anything going into your mouth like food or your fingers without first performing hand hygiene.

“There is no doubt the community is much more aware of the importance of hand hygiene since the COVID pandemic began so this gives us a great chance to contain the virus and stay safe.

“People have been working from home and home schooling for a number of weeks so now is a perfect opportunity to increase their understanding of hand hygiene going back,” he said.

Professor Grayson said the program is based on the system used by Hand Hygiene Australia to train healthcare workers and includes specific tips for high risk occupations and industries like retail, hospitality, trades/manufacturing and office workers as well as general tips for everyone to help improve hand hygiene. 

“The tool has been developed with the whole Australian community in mind, including students, employees and small businesses,” he said.

“There are key times when we all need to wash our hands to ensure everyone is protected. Some of these times are obvious like before preparing food and after going to the toilet, but others are less obvious including after handling money and after getting in or out of a car.

“The learning program only takes a few minutes to complete and finishes with an assessment to test people hand hygiene knowledge once they’re done.

“We would love to see businesses and organisations embrace this concept and encourage all of their staff to be hand hygiene ‘compliant’ when they return to work.”

“Everyone who completes the assessment gets a certificate they can print off. Workplaces can use this to reassure customers that their staff are hand hygiene aware and their practices will help keep them safe,” Professor Grayson said.

The training program can be found online at - https://worksafeclean.southrock.com/

Hand Hygiene Australia is able to provide this initiative thanks to the philanthropic support of both Nexus6 Software Pty Ltd (SouthrockLMS) and The Learning Hook Pty Ltd.

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