National center for infection control professionals, healthcare experts, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and consumers focused on best practices in hand hygiene and hand sanitizer products

Thursday, October 21, 2010

GOJO --maker of Purell alcohol hand sanitizer- faces $1 million lawsuit

courtesy of Akron Beacon Journal's
nice people! (not)..
A Cleveland area container company is suing GOJO Industries Inc. of Akron, the maker of the hand-sanitizer Purell, saying GOJO owes it more than $1 million.

Kaufman Container Co. of Brook Park contends that GOJO owes it the money after canceling outstanding orders for packaging for a GOJO ''hand-sanitizing product.'' The lawsuit, filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court, does not name the product.

The complaint says that in April 2009, GOJO began buying large quantities of packaging, including plastic bottles and pump dispensers, for its ''hand-sanitizing product... in anticipation of the upcoming flu season and projected H1N1 pandemic.''

Kaufman calls itself a ''packaging sourcing center'' and says in the suit that it worked with manufacturers to have the packaging made to GOJO's specifications.

Kaufman contends it tried to cancel orders made with manufacturers on behalf of GOJO, but was able to cancel only 85 percent. Kaufman says it could not cancel the remaining 15 percent because the items ''had already been manufactured or because the orders constituted work in progress.''
The value of those items was more than $1 million, Kaufman says.

The breach-of-contract suit has been assigned to Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia A.

Monday, October 18, 2010

#Staples Inc. Study: Hand Hygiene Starts With Sanitary Workplace

Staples Survey Finds Germs Are Increasingly Joining the Work Force
Oct 16, 2010 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) -- A new study shows that many office workers feel compelled to be in the office when they're sick while few take enough steps to keep their workspace clean.

A recent survey by Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., reveals that 65 percent of workers reported coming to work sick, while 80 percent reported cleaning their workspace only once a week or less. At that rate, keeping germs at bay in the office is a staggering task.

Studies estimate about 40,000 people will get the flu this year and a study by Challanger, Gray & Christmas estimates the flu alone results in approximately 70 million missed work days and nearly $10 billion in lost productivity each year.

"Employers are concerned about decreased productivity due to sick employees and are looking for ways to maintain healthy workspaces throughout their facilities," said Lisa Hamblet, vice president for Staples Advantage and head of its Facility Solutions line of business. "With employees coming to work sick, it's difficult to prevent germs from invading the office altogether. There are easy preventive measures that can minimize the spread of germs within the facility and keep the business going." With another flu season upon us, cleaning experts at Staples Facility Solutions have prepared a tip sheet with easy steps employers can take to maintain a healthy workforce.

Make hand and surface sanitizing products easily accessible throughout the office. Sanitizers reduce germs and bacteria by 99.9 percent. Another study by reported a 21 percent reduction of absenteeism with hand sanitizer on the desktop. But only 38 percent of workers surveyed have started using disinfectant wipes since the H1N1 outbreak.

Supply tissues and educate the office about "respiratory etiquette." A surprising 68 percent of workers surveyed reported seeing coworkers sneezing or coughing without using a tissue or covering their mouth.

Set Aside Time at Work for Personal Clean Up. By setting aside a time for all employees to clean and sanitize their workspace and providing sanitizing wipes, paper towels and spray, employers can create a more "germ" conscious workforce and a healthier office. This is particularly necessary with the number of people who eat at their workspace, a surprising 92 percent of workers according to the Staples Advantage survey.

Encourage proper handwashing. A building-wide hand washing campaign can be an effective way to remind workers to wash hands for at least 20 seconds as recommended by the Center for Disease Control. Provide touch-free soap and towel dispensers to further minimize the spread of germs.

Survey participants reinforce that they want employers to get involved in preventing illness around the work place. More than half the respondents (54 percent) said employers should provide "touch-free" restroom products and 40 percent indicated flu shots should be administered at the office.

Staples Advantage conducted an online survey of office workers at more than 100 businesses of all sizes across the US. The survey, conducted in August, asked a series of questions about workplace hygiene and its overall impact in today's business environment.

#Apple iPhones & iPads: Petri Dishes for Bacteria

New research suggests a cell phone has 18 times the amount of bacteria found on a toilet handle.

"If you put a virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 percent of it will get on your fingertips," says Timothy Julian, a Stanford University doctoral student who co-authored the study on the spread of viruses. And it won't be long before you touch your eyes, nose or mouth -- the mucous membranes through which many viruses get into the body.

Peter Collignon, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Australian National University, followed research that found a higher risk of transmitting pathogens from glass surfaces like on iPads to human skin.

"You wouldn't have hundreds of people using the same glass or cup, but theoretically if hundreds of people share the same keyboard or touch pad, then effectively that's what you're doing," the Age quoted Collignon as saying in a phone interview.

"The germs we transmit via our hands can frequently have germs that can cause anything from the flu to multi-drug resistant diseases."

Scores of people visit Apple stores around the country every day to play with the company's latest gadgets. Earlier this year, an investigation by the New York Daily News found that of four iPads swabbed in two Apple stores, two contained harmful pathogens.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kimberly-Clark Expert: US Businesses Lose $74 Billion/yr To Absenteeism

"Every year, businesses in the United States lose $74 billion due to absenteeism. And the germs that cause absenteeism are coming in the door every day with their employees and then being spread throughout the workplace," said Andy Clement, director of the hand hygiene and tissue business for Kimberly-Clark Professional.  "It's crucial to break the chain of transmission wherever these employees go."

According to one study, use of appropriate hand sanitizer can reduce a person's sick days by 21 percent. 

"Change hand and surface hygiene behaviors and make these behaviors part of an office worker's daily routine and you can break the links in the germ transmission chain," Clement said. "If you do, you'll have a healthy workplace and healthier employees."