Ozark River Manufacturing Co.

When Germs Meet Hand Washing

Microscopic image of germs demonstrating link between germs and hand washing.

Germs undoubtedly affect every human on the planet. So, let’s
dive a little deeper into these persistent, potentially illness-causing pests
and discover how together, germs and hand washing are the perfect match.


What are germs?

Simply put, germs are microorganisms that can exist pretty much anywhere, including on our skin and in our bodies. There are four types of germs: bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites—each behaving and affecting us differently. For example, the common cold and measles are caused by viruses, while bacteria cause strep throat. Fungi can lead to certain skin conditions, while parasites often cause intestinal tract issues.

What about prevention and treatment you ask? Well, basic hand hygiene practices, vaccines, and medicines are all effective methods, but each type of germ responds differently to each approach. Hand washing though, “is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself from germs and most infections.”

Why germs and hand washing go hand in hand

One germ can turn into 8 million within 24 hours
The lifespan of germs on your hands can be up to 3 hours
Fingertips and elbows carry between 2 and 10 million bacteria
Your hands are responsible for spreading almost 80% of illness-causing germs
Phones and keyboards typically have more germs on them than toilet seats
Sneezing expels bacteria and viruses into the air at 100 mph

Source: Tri-County Health Care


Why is hand washing important in every workplace?

Germs live and are transferred most commonly to shared surfaces—which makes sense. The more people come into contact with something, the more likely it is they’ve added their own travelers to the mix. 

Food Service Establishments

  • Menus—specifically plastic over paper
  • Touchscreens
  • Buffets and salad bars
  • Cafeteria trays
  • Condiment bottles

Retail Stores

  • Cart and basket handles
  • Refrigerator door handles
  • Produce
  • Self-checkout areas
  • Credit card machines

Healthcare Facilities

  • Elevator buttons
  • Door handles
  • Bed/privacy separators and curtains
  • Faucets
  • Visitor chairs

Beauty & Wellness Facilities

  •       Metal tools (scissors, nail cutters, etc.)
  •       Hot tubs
  • Tanning beds
  •       Saunas and steam rooms
  •       Door handles

Schools & Childcare Facilities

  • Water fountains
  • Cafeteria trays
  •       Bathroom sink faucets
  • Keyboards
  • Toilet seats

It’s easy to see why frequent hand washing is necessary, especially in situations where shared surfaces are everywhere. It’s also easy to see how complacency could potentially happen. When everything in your workplace could have germs on it, it becomes difficult to maintain the rate of hand washing necessary to combat them. More on this issue of accessibility in a bit.

Don’t forget about the good ones

With all that said, not all germs are harmful. Actually, there are around 100 trillion bacteria in the average human body doing good, honest work. These bacteria help our digestion, create necessary vitamins, and even fight against their less than helpful infectious counterparts. Ever heard of probiotics? These are supplements made of good bacteria, designed to bring balance and help prevent certain ailments.

Portable sinks are solving the germ and hand washing problem

Moral of the story? Cover your mouth and wash your hands. We all knew that already but seeing some of these facts does shine a much stronger light on the importance of simple precautions, such as hand washing.

Hand washing code compliance affects every business and facility. So, take a look at Ozark River Manufacturing’s industry-specific, out-of-the-box ready, no plumbing required portable sinks and start sending those germs right down the drain. Each model was designed specifically for each industry, ensuring your code-compliant needs and workplace wants are both met. When hand washing code compliance and prevention calls, we’re answering!

Thank You