Maintaining good health while working in a shared environment is often challenging. Germs are often spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and then touches objects with un-washed or un-sanitized hands.
Recent studies show that between every minute a working adult in an office touches around 30 different objects that may be contaminated with bacteria and viruses causing infectious disease. With hands responsible for the spread of an estimated 80% of common infectious diseases, it’s easy to see how an ill employee may contaminate any shared working environment.
Maintaining hand hygiene can be challenging for employees, often because of:
- lack of available or nearby hand hygiene stations;
- time constraints;
- dry, chapped or irritated skin;
- assumptions that hands not being visibly dirty are not in need of cleaning.
Exposure to infections 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.
Poor hand hygiene impacts more than just those who don’t practice it. Those who work in the same environment or share the same facilities are equally at risk to the spread 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 through a single swipe of a hand. Its portability and ease of use makes it a convenient, access anywhere solution. This enables employees to maintain good hand hygiene compliance 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 has the ability to kill and neutralize germs and bacteria found in bathrooms, telephones, hand rails, door knobs, water fountains and elevator buttons. Within any given workplace numerous respiratory, gastrointestinal and dermal pathogens will be present and the practised use of the Orbel™ applicator is just a hand motion away from maintaining health and wellbeing.
The Orbel™ applicator not only saves time and protects workers from germs and bacteria, it:
- can contribute to an increase of work performance and productivity;
- can contribute to the reduction of days lost from work. Reports estimate that absenteeism costs the US economy $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;
- habituates good hand-hygiene practice;
- reduces cost associated with illness to employees;
- significantly improves employer health and safety compliance regimes;
- is cost effective when measured by ROI.
For further reading, consult the References section.
For related hand-hygiene meetings and events, consult our Calendar of Events section.
WORKPLACE WELLNESS PROGRAMS
Workplace Wellness Programs are becoming an accepted convention in business with a quarter to a half of all employees appearing to have access to some type of health promotion programs.
With companies and organizations realizing that contented, healthy employees are valuable assets, they are taking an active approach to the health and wellbeing of their employees, in turn providing a financial benefit to the bottom line.
Absenteeism at work due to illness is a costly business, with research indicating:
- In developed economies the average employee is ill & absent from work 8 days/year.
- Absence & working while ill is estimated to cost ~$2,000 per employee per year and accounts for approximately 10% of payroll costs.
- Sick employees are 20% to 40% more likely to have accidents or errors at work.
While most workplace health and wellness programs target physical activity, healthy diet and reducing tobacco abuse and stress, an important and often missed component is the control and prevention of infectious diseases. One important way to decrease the social and economic burden of infectious disease transmission is by means of improved workplace hand hygiene.
In studies of workplace infection control programs that have included hand hygiene it has shown effective reductions in absenteeism of up to 40%. These infection control programs are especially effective during cold and flu seasons and the period when the stomach flu is prevalent.
Wellness Programs assist with:
- improving productivity;
- improving the culture of an organisation;
- attracting quality employees who value personal health and wellbeing;
- retaining existing employees – thereby reducing costly employee turnover, recruitment and training;
- increasing employee engagement, creativity and innovation;
- reducing absenteeism due to illness.
The Orbel™ provides any workplace wellness programs with an advantage. By taking an active part in prevention with the Orbel™ personal hand sanitizer applicator:
- Infectious disease spread in the workplace can be prevented (>20%).
- Absenteeism can be reduced (> 40%).
- Cost savings can by achieved from reduced absence & working while sick of (>$ 250)/worker/year.
Unlike conventional hand sanitizer units that are often only placed at reception or in washrooms, the Orbel™ gives employees constant and immediate access to their own hand sanitizer unit, making prevention efforts much more effective.
With a quick pleasant touch, the Orbel™ personal hand sanitizer applicator is extremely convenient. The Orbel™ applicator saves time and is always there to protect employees from infectious diseases that are commonly passed around in workplace environments.
Examples of companies showing significant savings with Health & Wellness Programs**
|Company Name||Net % Disability Cost Savings||Cost Savings per Employee in $/(%)||Money Saved Verses Money Spent*||Reference|
|Bank of America||179||6:1||Fries et al. 1993|
|Canada Life||2.8||600||3:4:1||Health Canada 2004|
|Citibank, N.A.||4:5:1||Ozminkowski et al. 1999|
|ConAgra Foods||7:1||WCA 2006|
|Daimler Chrysler||400||US HHS 2003; Green 2005; Daimler Chrysler 2005|
|DuPont Corp.||8.2||2:1||Bertera 1990 & US PHS 1993|
|General Mills||3.5:1||Chapman 1996|
|Johnson & Johnson||224||Ozminkowske et al. 2002|
|Motorola||4:1||US HHS 2003 & Motorola 2013|
|Pacific Bell||3:1||Blair 1996|
|Prudential Insurance||262||3:1||Chapman 1996|
|Health & Wellness Meta-Reviews|
|Meta-review 42 Company Reports||28||(26)||5:1||Chapman 2003|
|Meta-review 73 Company Reports||3:5:1||Aldana 2001|
|A Model Hand Hygiene Program|
|FedEx - Hygiene||189||Koop 2002|
*Average full program cost is between $100 and $275 per participant (Musich & Chapman 2006).
** Wellness program success (companies and statistics) independent of potential benefits derived from an Orbel™ workplace wellness program.
EXPOSURES & HOT SPOTS
Exposures and hot spots
While the main targets for workplace health and wellness promotion programs stress physical activity, healthy diet, reducing tobacco abuse and stress, an important and sometimes missed component is control and prevention of infectious diseases. The following are the diseases known to be spread in the workplace.
|Adenovirus||Influenza Virus (Flu)||Human Parainfluenza Virus (hPIV)|
|Human Metapneumonovirus (hMPV)||Measles||Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)|
|Rhinovirus - Common Cold||Pertussis (Rare in Adults)||Mumps (Rare)|
|Rubella (Rare)||Tuberculosis (Rare)||Legionella (Rare)|
|Adenovirus||Astrovirus||Coxsackie A Virus (Rare in adults-Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease)|
|Enteroviruses||Hepatitis A Virus||Intestinal Parasites (Giardia spp)|
|Norovirus||Rotavirus (children & older adults)||Salmonella spp|
|Candida spp. (Yeast – Ringworm etc.)||Chicken Pox (Shingles)||Gram-Negative skin infections|
|Headlice||Human Papilomavirus||Impetigo (Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes)|
|Molluscum Contagiosum Virus||Scabies (mite Scarcoptes scabiei)||Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)|
|Acanthamoeba spp. (Amoebic Keratitis)||Bacterial Keratitis (Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa)||Viral Keratitis (Herpes Simplex or Herpes Zoster Viruses)|
|Fungal Keratitis (Rare –Fusaium spp.)|
Blood-borne Pathogens of Concern
|HIV (Rare)||Hepatitis C (Rare)|
Workplace Hot Spots:
Surfaces identified as harboring the highest number of germs in the workplace
Workplace Hot Spots
- Door Handles
- Stair Railings (Banisters)
- Elevator Buttons (Lift Buttons)
- Conference Room
- Light Switches
- Lobby Areas
- Lobby ATMs
- Water Fountain
- Copy Station
- Pens & Pencils
- Computer Mouse
- Kitchen Space
- Faucet Handles
- Refrigerator Contents & Surfaces
- Door Handles
- Toilet Flusher Handle
- Paper Towel Dispenser Handles
- Check Out (Cash Register)