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September 09, 2016
Offices that use hand sanitizer show reduced claims for cold & flu

If you’ve invested in hand sanitizers and wipes to try to reduce germs at your site, a new study suggests you may see a significant return in improved worker health. Keep reading for more details.

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The study was conducted by GOJO Industries, inventors of Purell and other products, and was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It found that offices equipped with alcohol-based hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes throughout the building and at employees’ desks had considerably fewer healthcare insurance claims for illnesses such as cold, flu, and respiratory illness compared with a control group that did not have access to the products at work.

GOJO collaborated on the research with the insurance provider Medical Mutual of Ohio. Two Medical Mutual offices were equipped with the product and a third office, where the Purell products were not offered, served as a control group. Said Kathy Golovan, chief health officer for Medical Mutual of Ohio, “The significance of this study is that it demonstrated an immediate health solution for employers that is easy to implement, cost effective, and one that employees clearly value.” According to Golovan, employers often focus on long-term chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart health. Solutions like a hand hygiene program can be valuable because they have a more immediate impact.

Among major findings of the GOJO study:

  • Offices with hand hygiene products had a 24.3 percent lower incidence of hand-hygiene-preventable insurance claims.
  • Offices with hand hygiene products had 13.4 percent fewer sick episodes or unscheduled paid time off.
  • 8 in 10 employees indicated that having the hand cleaning products throughout the office positively impacted their impression of their employer.
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