We all use antimicrobial soaps. They are ubiquitous in every hospital, clinic and care home, and across the waste industries though in this latter sector getting workers to wash their hands properly and at a suitable frequency remains a challenge.
Antimicrobial soaps rid our hands of the nasty bugs that may cause infections, in ourselves or others. They protect.
Or do they?
If you test the standard formulations of antimicrobial soap against a cheap and cheerful non-antimicrobial equivalent the number and types of bugs remaining on skin is the same whichever product is used. Indeed, if you use just plain water – and this is NOT a recommendation – then the reduction in bugs on hands can be just as good.
This forms the basis of a series of experiments I use in teaching nurses, to highlight the importance of good handwashing technique. It I this which removes the bugs, with soaps providing useful lubrication and detergent activity that additionally removes oils and greases. Of course, soap makes a difference, especially on heavily soiled hands, but it is technique alone, of rubbing one hand vigorously against the other aided by the lubricating action of soap, that removes bacteria.
Continue reading “Antimicrobial soaps” »
News today of a Manchester fireman has been handed a £5,000 payout after injuring himself putting on gloves at work!
Bosses at Greater Manchester Fire Service (GMFS) accepted the glove was ‘broken’ when the crew member sliced a tendon in his finger on a piece of stray fibre.
It seems like a joke, and perhaps in this case there was some doubt. However, glove selection and use is an important business and one which received only scant attention.
In the waste sector, standards of glove use is particularly poor. A failure to wear gloves when required, or the wrong type of glove – when several different types of glove might be required across a workplace – are common errors. Continue reading “Glove use – getting it right” »
Hand care – quite distinct from the equally important hand hygiene – is an essential requirement for healthcare professionals and for waste handlers alike.
Good standards of glove use and hand hygiene are essential skills for waste handlers. The correct gloves for the task, removed and stored appropriately, with good standards of hand hygiene after removal are key skills but are they being taught adequately, if at all? Continue reading “Essential hand care” »
Correct glove use and associated hand hygiene are undoubtedly primary health and safety issues for all of those working right across the waste industries, and for those handling clinical and related wastes in particular. Continue reading “Take care with gloves” »