How to select and place hand disinfectants in public spaces

Good hand hygiene improves safety in public spaces. According to a study commissioned by Kiilto in the autumn of 2020, good availability of hand disinfectant and the possibility to maintain social distancing make people feel more comfortable and safer in public spaces. The question is how to choose suitable hand disinfectant and where to place them so that people use them as efficiently as possible.

Every day, people touch numerous things like pens, payment terminals, phones and glasses with their hands. In addition, numerous people touch door handles, table surfaces and light switches. Category managers Anna Vahokoski and Tuomas Jaatinen from Kiilto compiled a list to help enhance hand hygiene.

Select a suitable hand disinfectant and packaging size for your location

The most convenient and economical solution in public spaces is to use gel products. More liquid hand disinfectants are preferred in healthcare. Gel products work better in public spaces like restaurants, gyms and shopping centres, because they can be easily applied. Hand disinfectant dispensers are an exception because they make liquid disinfectants easy to use as well.

The number of customers visiting the location should be considered when choosing a suitable packaging size. If the number of customers is low, pump bottles are a good choice. Dispensers work well for medium-sized locations, because their capacity is better. For locations with many customers, a more systematic approach should be chosen so that hand hygiene can be controlled reliably. Automatic hand disinfectant dispensers, such as SafePoint+, are suitable for these kinds of locations.

Place the hand disinfectant on a visible spot

The best locations for hand disinfectants are unobstructed and visible spots that many people pass. For example, good locations for hand disinfectant are close to doors and main entrances, staircases, checkout areas and food counters, as well as toilet facilities. A good rule of thumb is to place hand disinfectants in areas where people touch surfaces frequently. The risk that infections spread is highest in places where there are plenty of surfaces touched by multiple people. When considering where to place dispensers, attention should be paid to emergency exits: they must be kept unobstructed to ensure fire safety.

Encourage people to disinfect their hands

The more available and visible instructions and hand disinfectants there are, the more likely it is that people will use them. Having several points where people can disinfect their hands prevents queues from forming and contributes to social distancing.

People can be encouraged to pay attention to good hand hygiene by placing posters and instructions on how to use hand disinfectants close to dispensers, toilet facilities and checkout areas. Feel free to download Kiilto's newest hand hygiene poster for summertime from the material bank.

On 5 May, we celebrate International Hand Hygiene Day. The purpose of the theme day is to highlight the importance of hand hygiene in the prevention of infections and antimicrobial resistance.