Targeted hygiene guidance helps facilities break the chain of infection
05 March 2021
IN COLLABORATION with hygiene expert Professor Sally Bloomfield, SC Johnson Professional has developed new guidance titled the ‘8 Moments for Targeted Hygiene’ specifically designed to help break the chain of infection in workplaces and public facilities.
The new ‘8 Moments for Targeted Hygiene’ guidance is based on the risk management approach for hygiene – known as Targeted Hygiene - developed by the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH) which builds upon the policy paper ‘Too Clean or Not Too Clean’ published by the Royal Society for Public Health in 2019.
The new guidance recommends that in order to break the chain of infection in workplaces and public facilities, the focus should be placed on hygiene behaviour of individuals rather than rely on routine ‘deep cleaning’ and disinfection.
Professor Bloomfield commented: “We have to accept that facility managers can only do so much to make their facility COVID secure. Preventing transmission of infections such as COVID-19 in workplaces and public facilities has to be a shared responsibility.”
Developed for those who manage workplaces and public facilities, the core principle of the guidance is to identify the eight ‘Moments’ of highest risk when infection may be passed on. Scientific evidence developed since the 1980s by the IFH has shown that the main sources of harmful microbes in public facilities are people rather than places even when these are perceived as visibly ‘dirty’.
The IFH’s research has found that many people still largely view hygiene as synonymous with cleanliness; however, whilst regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces does play a role in managing risk, it cannot alone create a safe environment. Studies have shown that this is because contamination can reoccur very quickly within a space which is inhabited by people as microbes are transmitted either via the air or via hands or surfaces which are frequently touched.
The Targeted Hygiene guidance addresses this by identifying the 8 Moments when hygiene behaviour change should be encouraged:
- Touching common surfaces
- After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose
- Returning to and leaving your workspace
- Getting food prepared
- Eating food
- Toilet use
- Entering and exiting the building
- Disposing of waste.
Bloomfield commented: “Having worked to introduce the concept of Targeted Hygiene at home with the 9 Moments for Home Hygiene, we realised that creating a similar concept for ‘away from home’ environments provides the means to develop effective hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID in public spaces.
“It is hoped that the ‘8 Moments for Targeted Hygiene’ will help to drive behaviour change around hygiene. This approach is designed to prompt people to recognise the moments of risk when targeted hygiene is called for, rather than giving them a written set of ‘rules’ about when to act, which they may or may not remember.”
John Hines, director of research and development at SC Johnson Professional, said: “As a company, we have many years’ experience of working in a variety of sectors to help improve hand hygiene compliance.
“We know that breaking the chain of infection can only be achieved in combination with social distance and facial coverings, and by enabling the right products to be used at the point of need, combined with frequent hygienic cleaning of high-risk surfaces. This then needs to be fully supported by facility managers, to encourage the right behaviours for the safety of all users of their facility.”
SC Johnson Professional want to find out more about the challenges you are facing in making your facility safe. Participate in their survey to receive a summary of the results and tailored advice on how to implement Targeted Hygiene.
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