Providing a safe working environment for First Responders (Police, Ambulance, Fire Fighters and Military) can often be difficult and challenging due to the nature of their work. When an emergency occurs, from natural disasters, industrial and transportation accidents, disease epidemics, infectious disease pandemics and even terrorist acts, they are the first to attend and by performing their duties, workers are exposed to numerous germs, viruses and bacteria that can cause illness.
First Responders are exposed to potential illness through contact with people, objects and surfaces that become contaminated through poor hand hygiene or if First Responders practice poor hand hygiene themselves. According to a recent survey, only 33% of emergency medical providers said they cleaned their hands after performing invasive procedures and only 13% said they cleaned their hands before touching patients. Hands are responsible for the spread of 80% of infectious diseases onto objects, surfaces and person to person. Many bacteria and viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours while other germs can live considerably longer for a week or more.
Poor hand hygiene can be detrimental to everyone involved in first responder duties, even inadvertently bringing infectious diseases home to family members.
While exposure to infectious diseases for First Responders can be the result of other people’s poor hand-hygiene, maintaining a high level of hand-hygiene can break the chain of infection. For these workers, hand-hygiene compliance can be challenging due to:
- lack of product availability and proximity to such products;
- time constraints;
- lack of adequate facilities;
- poor sanitary conditions (remote locations, scenes of accidents or natural disasters);
- contaminated water supplies (in the event of a natural disaster);
- no power (field conditions, emergency situations or natural disasters);
- dry, chapped or irritated skin;
- assumptions that hands, not being visibly dirty, are not in need of cleaning.
The challenges workers face in maintaining hand-hygiene leaves them susceptible to infectious diseases and, together with poor hand-hygiene, can contribute to:
- absenteeism from work due to poor health;
- reduced efficiency and mistakes at work due to employees being ill;
- "presenteeism" - where infected employees, being at work, infect others.
First Responders work across a range of environments, respond to a range of emergencies and come into contact with various contaminated infectious objects, surfaces and people. If hand-hygiene isn’t properly maintained and adequate to meet the challenges of this occupation, workers and everyone they come into contact with, are at risk of infection.
The Orbel™ Instant Hand Sanitizer Applicator
The Orbel™ is a portable hand sanitizer reservoir and applicator that conveniently dispenses highly effective hand sanitizer by way of a swipe of a hand. Its portability and ease of use makes it a convenient and accessible solution that enables employees to maintain good hand-hygiene irrespective of activity type, whilst preventing loss in productivity.
The Orbel™ is available with a highly effective hand sanitizer (ethyl-alcohol or water-based formulation) that will help prevent transmission of infectious diseases that are commonly encountered by First Responders while on the job. With the practised use of the Orbel™ applicator, maintaining health and wellbeing is just a hand motion away.
Safe and effective hand-hygiene is the front line in preventing the spread of infection and illness. The Orbel™ not only provides protection from infectious diseases while on the job, it saves times through its portability, ease of use and:
- can contribute to an increase in work performance and productivity;
- can contribute to the reduction and cost of absenteeism due to illness. Reports estimate that absenteeism costs the US economy alone some $227 billion a year due to lost productivity associated with poor health;
- demonstrates commitment to employee health and wellbeing and forming the cornerstone of any workplace wellness program;
- complements existing hand-hygiene protocols;
- habituates good hand-hygiene practice;
- reduces costs associated with illness to employees;
- significantly improves employer health and safety compliance regimes;
- is cost effective when measured by ROI.
Natural disasters, industrial and transportation accidents, disease epidemics and infectious disease pandemics are unpredictable. Providing workers with a way to protect themselves (and loved ones) from infectious diseases demonstrates an employer’s commitment to their workers, their health and wellbeing and to that of the wider community.
to increase hand-hygiene compliance efficiently, reduce infections and save money with the Orbel™ Instant Hand Sanitizer Applicator.
No workplace can afford to be without it.
For further reading, consult the References section.