The UK government has joined global health experts, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in approving the use of hand dryers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This follows a campaign from the hand drying industry requesting government to update its official guidelines.
The government’s ‘Working safely during Coronavirus’ guidance was released in early May to ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. The information now states that, to help everyone keep good hygiene throughout the working day, businesses should provide hand drying facilities in the form of either paper towels or electrical dryers.
The guidelines previously only cited paper towels but, following an appeal from numerous industry organisations, including Airdri, for the use of hand dryers to be considered, the latest version now follows the same advice as the WHO and CDC.
The campaign was backed up by Airdri’s own research by a leading independent microbiologist, which further confirmed that the use of hand dryers in the washroom does not contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus,
Airdri CEO, Tony Wall, commented: “Throughout the coronavirus crisis we have been championing the need for accurate knowledge sharing to ensure that the British public can have confidence in their hygiene efforts. With hand washing and drying remaining the first line of defence against Covid-19, it is vital that people are aware of the safest hand hygiene practices.
“Although we fully support the government’s efforts to protect the health of the returning workforce, we were surprised to see that their recommendation failed to highlight a perfectly safe process. Keen to rectify this oversight, and ensure people have a choice when it comes to hand drying, we, along with other industry figures, wrote to the government to ask them to reconsider their advice. We are delighted to see that the guidelines have now been updated.”
Last month, following speculation around the potential for hand dryers to spread Covid19, Airdri commissioned a leading independent microbiologist to look at such claims. Dr. Webber’s findings confirmed that the use of hand dryers in the washroom does not contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus, concluding that both paper towels and warm air hand dryers offer a hygienic way to dry hands.