With everyday habits having to change rapidly to accommodate for the new Coronavirus invasion, the way we meet the challenge of hand sanitisation is under constant evaluation. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser is here to stay, with good hand hygiene one of the most essential factors in decreasing its contagion (Pittet et al., 2009). In the face of this new reality, we see an array of hand sanitiser products emerging, ready to try and meet businesses newest safety needs.
Types of Hand Sanitiser Stations
The two main visible differences between sanitising stations available are whether they are wall mounted or pole/stand mounted. Whilst equally good options in the appropriate setting, there are certain drawbacks and advantages associated with either method.
An example of a wall mounted sanitising station is the Sanillo Touch Free Hand Sanitiser Dispenser. These are a great option for people wanting a secure, stable and more permanent fixture. A completely 'touch free' option exists here (as with all HandyDryer models). A potential drawback of this fixture stems from its permanently fixed nature- although easily mounted and removed, a wall mounted sanitiser is of course less freely moveable than a free standing model such as the Sanillo Hand Sanitiser Dispenser with Stainless Steel Stand.
The flexibility a free-standing model affords you is unparalleled. Great for restaurants operating in close quarters that can experiment where their sanitising stations work best, or moveable businesses that have no one permanent location. There is no commitment involved in finding a space for your stainless-steel stand - it can go anywhere you choose on the day.
Clearly, the stand mounted sanitisers afford the greatest flexibility, however there are a few reasons that mean this product isn't right for everyone. Firstly, it is worth considering that anyone can pick up your sanitising station and move it, making it potentially stealable. Additionally weaker or lightweight stands can get knocked over, making them a potential safety hazard around children, animals and intoxicated individuals.
Why is touch free important?
Touch free sanitisation is an important aspect of these products as the less hand to surface contact, the less the chance of contamination. Virus' remain viable on surfaces for varying amounts of time meaning that the less things we touch, the less chance there is of transmission (Otter et al., 2016). For example, van Doremalen et al (2013) found that viable coronavirus' could still be transmitted from plastic and steel services even two days after their initial exposure. This potentially means that someone using a manual sanitising pump could transfer coronavirus from their hands to someone else two whole days after visiting that establishment! Current WHO advice is to follow cleaning and disinfectant procedures consistently and correctly (using ethyl alcohol 70%) (WHO, 2020). This would include use of sanitiser stations that are touch or push button activated and can be a hotspot of microbial life (Donofrio et al., 2012) in their own right.
We know then that SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV have an unusual capacity to remain viable on surfaces, long after initial exposure (Blenkharn, 2008; Dowell et al., 2004). This means that technologies now need to move towards minimising hand to surface contact wherever possible. However, the problem becomes all the more concerning when we factor in that coronavirus have been found floating, suspended in the air as aerosols for days at a time, later able to drop and settle on a surface (Thompson et al., 2013). This means that just disinfecting surfaces ultimately may not be making our bathrooms Covid-secure. Thus, the only way to have a 'truly clean' bathroom is with an automatically-sterilising addition such as the Sterillo hand dryer. Not only does this target coronavirus on bathroom surfaces, it scientifically proven to disinfect the very air inside the bathroom.
What can employers do?
The WHO has guidance in place for employees in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. These can be found via this WHO Covid guide for employers. Most importantly, guidelines dictate that employers should "Put sanitising hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace" and "Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled."
Prominent places include areas on entry/ exit, areas where food might be prepared, bathrooms and anywhere that's more heavily populated inside the building such as near to copying machines etc. The WHO guidelines for Coronavirus in the workplace also state that surfaces must be kept clean as "Because contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads."
Pittet, D., Allegranzi, B. and Boyce, J., 2009. The World Health Organization Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care and Their Consensus Recommendations. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 30(7), pp.611-622.
Otter, J., Donskey, C., Yezli, S., Douthwaite, S., Goldenberg, S. and Weber, D., 2016. Transmission of SARS and MERS coronaviruses and influenza virus in healthcare settings: the possible role of dry surface contamination.Journal of Hospital Infection, 92(3), pp.235-250.
Otter, J., Donskey, C., Yezli, S., Douthwaite, S., Goldenberg, S. and Weber, D., 2016. Transmission of SARS and MERS coronaviruses and influenza virus in healthcare settings: the possible role of dry surface contamination. Journal of Hospital Infection, 92(3), pp.235-250.
Thompson, K., Pappachan, J., Bennett, A., Mittal, H., Macken, S., Dove, B., Nguyen-Van-Tam, J., Copley, V., O’Brien, S., Hoffman, P., Parks, S., Bentley, A., Isalska, B. and Thomson, G., 2013. Influenza Aerosols in UK Hospitals during the H1N1 (2009) Pandemic – The Risk of Aerosol Generation during Medical Procedures. PLoS ONE, 8(2), p.e56278.
Blenkharn, J., 2008. Luminol-based forensic detection of latent blood; an approach to rapid wide-area screening combined with Glo-Germ™ oil simulant studies. Journal of Hospital Infection, 69(4), pp.405-406.
WHO. Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected. WHO, (2020).Interim guidance. 25 January 2020
Donofrio, Robert S., et al. "Are We Aware of Microbial Hotspots in Our Household?" Journal of Environmental Health, vol. 75, no. 2, 2012, pp. 12–19. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26329462. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.
Who.int. 2020. Getting Your Workplace Ready For COVID-19. [online] Available at: Coronaviruse advice for workplace cleaning [Accessed 11 August 2020].