Over the past 30 years, there has been exponential growth in the number of world travellers with it reported that in 2012 over 2.9 billion passengers travel by air and over 20 million travelling on cruise lines annually. With so much travelling taking place, it introduces the possibility, especially to those who work in the transportation industry, of exposure to a variety of bacteria, viruses and germs that can cause infection.
Workers are exposed to various bacteria, viruses and germs when working in confined spaces, shared environments and in close proximity to others, such as in airports, on planes, buses, ferries and cruise liners. Germs can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours and are often spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and then touches objects or surfaces with un-washed or un-sanitized hands. With hands responsible for the spread of 80% of infectious diseases, hand-hygiene is considered as the single most effective means in preventing the spread of infection.
Maintaining hand-hygiene can be challenging for workers in the travel industry and it's often due to:
- lack of product availability and proximity of hand-hygiene products at the point of need;
- time constraints, high workload;
- lack of adequate facilities;
- dry, chapped or irritated skin;
- assumptions that hands, not being visibly dirty, are not in need of cleaning.
Exposure to these infectious together with poor hand-hygiene, can contribute to avoidable costs associated with:
- 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;
- foodborne illness outbreaks due to workers handling food;
- gastrointestinal outbreaks resulting in potential loss of revenue and company reputation;
- direct and contingent costs associated with an outbreak including medical bills and claim settlement costs.
Poor hand-hygiene affects more than those who fail to practice it. Those who work in confined and shared environments and who share the same facilities with others are at risk to infection if hand-hygiene is not maintained at optimal levels.
The Orbel™ 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 formulations) that will help prevent transmission of infectious diseases that are commonly met in the travel industry. This includes being effective against the norovirus, the primary cause of stomach flu and major concerns in closed settings like cruise ships.
Safe and effective hand-hygiene is the front line in preventing the spread of infection and protecting workers from frequently encountered germs in the travel related workplace. The Orbel™ not only provides protection from infectious diseases in these settings, it saves times through its portability and ease of use and also:
- 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;
- increases customer perception of company cleanliness;
- is cost effective when measured by ROI.
Further studies conducted in this industry have shown that hand sanitizer use (alcohol and non-alcohol based) can reduce transmission of disease and reduce absenteeism/visits to the doctor on average by 25%.
In addition to the benefits the Orbel™ presents to workers, it is also a visible demonstration to customers, guests and the wider community of a commitment to hygiene in all its forms.
For further reading, consult the References section.