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Navigating the new hygiene minefield

Chris Wakefield, Vice President, European Marketing & Product Development, GOJO Industries-Europe Ltd., discusses what businesses should look for when choosing hygiene products for their facilities.

Pre-pandemic, cleaning and hygiene were vital for commercial success. After all, first impressions count and are critical in influencing whether somebody recommends or returns to a facility.

Fast forward to autumn 2020, and their roles in post-lockdown Britain are even more significant. They play a major role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and helping staff, customers, and visitors to stay well. If there are not sufficient processes in place to ensure a facility is COVID-secure, a business will suffer the consequences. Because, quite simply, if people do not feel safe, they will choose to visit a cleaner, more hygienic establishment and spend their money there instead.

As well as social distancing measures and wearing masks or visors (if appropriate to the business-type), implementing thorough surface and hand hygiene systems is key to instilling customer confidence. The challenge many businesses are facing though, is sorting the wheat from the chaff when it comes to product selection.

Making the right choice
A new hygiene products minefield has emerged, because, over the past few months, there has been a sudden influx of opportunistic entrants to the market. Many of these will not have spent years developing formulas, but are intent on selling cheap to companies desperate for product. Some of these products may not be fit for purpose, and in fact, instil a false sense of confidence in users.

Then there are others that believe they are altruistically manufacturing hand sanitising products to help meet demand. The problem here is that, often, they have been formulated purely with the aim of killing bacteria, but can leave hands feeling dry and tight. And with repeated use, they can damage skin, leading to sore, painful cracked hands and dermatitis. A knock-on effect of this leads to an abandonment of hand hygiene altogether, borne from a fear it will irritate their skin further.

As a founder member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Private Organizations for Patient Safety group, GOJO understands people’s behaviour when it comes to hand hygiene. Influencing hygienic practices is key to compliance, but a critical part of making this a reality is to ensure it is a pleasant user experience. Therefore, it is important to select a sanitising gel product that has been enriched with moisturising agents to help keep skin hydrated and healthy.

Efficacy is key
Of course, hand – and surface – hygiene products must be effective against germs and bacteria. Most are antibacterial, but not all have antiviral properties. GOJO has gone the extra mile to make sure its products are effective, as well as being safe and pleasant to use.

Rather than relying on the EN norm for enveloped viruses, which assume efficacy against Coronavirus, the PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitising Gel and Surface Sanitising Spray and Wipes have recently been tested against Coronavirus specifically.i They were proven to kill it within a contact time of 30 seconds, providing additional reassurance for businesses attempting to keep their premises COVID-secure.What’s more, businesses choosing a trusted supplier for their hygiene products will benefit from added value to help increase compliance. For example, GOJO has recently created a range of support materials such as posters and product placement guides to help customers install effective systems at their premises. These are tailored for a range of sectors, including food business, offices, manufacturing and education, and can be found at http://ww2.gojo.com/BackToPublicLife.html.

Whilst COVID-19 is still in general circulation, infection control will continue to be the number one priority for businesses. It’s therefore crucial that they choose a partner that will help them bypass the minefield, by supplying trusted products that are safe, effective, and kind to skin, as well as supporting them with advice to maximise compliance.


i Tested against Coronavirus BCoV (surrogate virus) in 30 seconds, according to EN 14476 standard.

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