In a Covid-19 world with the focus being on hygiene, public toilets are a place where there is an element of risk. 

With the number of people that use these and the different germs that could be spread in such a place, it is important that people are careful and take measures to prevent spreading any germs.  

People within the business world who are accountable for their employees also have an obligation to make sure that there are sufficient preventative measures in place to protect employees and people that use the facilities. 

There are many different things that can be done to minimise the spread of germs and we have detailed some of these below.

Drying Facilities

There are several different options that public toilet owners can decide upon when it comes to giving people the option to dry their hands after washing then. This can include things such as towels, hand paper towel dispensers and hand dryers.  All have different costs and strengths associated with them, however, by far the most hygienic is the hand dryers. 

These types of hand dryers not only are good to ensure that hands are completely clean but there are many eco-friendly options now on the market. There are many different companies online now that offer this and their services include these eco-friendly alternatives. 

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that some of these dryers get rid of 99% of germs which is clearly good for the prevention of germs spreading.  The alternatives to drying (like hand towels) are not as effective. 

 If paper towels are being used, then not only is that not as good for the environment in terms of disposal but there are potentially germs on the towels that are then placed in the bins. 

In relation to hand towels, these require to be changed frequently also.  Getting the balance right in terms of the drying facilities within this sort of environment can be a difficult challenge but in terms of minimising the spread of germs then the hand dryer option is clearly far more appealing.

Cleaning Regime 

As toilets are a place where germs are likely to be spread, then it is really important that the area is cleaned on a regular basis.  Most places will use an external company or agency to do this on their behalf. 

One thing that most public toilets do in order to ensure everyone knows the cleaning rota is that they can place this on the toilet wall and the cleaner who visits the toilet will then sign it off and place the time on it also. 

This gives confidence to users of the toilets that there is a clean happening on a regular basis but also gives them the details of who to contact if there are any issues with the previous clean (as there is full traceability on who actually completed it).   

Door Handles

The germs on a door handle within a toilet can be extreme and it is something that is a blind spot with a lot of people.  Unfortunately, there are still a number of people that will not clean their hands after using the toilet and as a result, this is a risk to other people using that facility in terms of germs. 

The surfaces that these people then touch thereafter are exposed to germs that they may have.  You will sometimes see signs in public toilets nowadays asking people to use a disposable hand towel when opening or closing the main door to the toilet so that if there are germs being put on this from these people then there is less likelihood that these will be passed to others via the handle.   

Signage

In any public toilet there is usually signage around that will give the users guidance or tips on hygiene or cleanliness. This is simple things like washing hands after using the toilet or making sure that hands are completely dry before moving away from the dryer and touching a door handle or surface. 

The effectiveness of these signs can sometimes be low, however, if these are placed in key areas, like in front of the urinal where males are using the toilet, or in the inside of the toilet cubicle, it almost forces people to read them.  The messaging can be clear and concise and really emphasize the main points of toilet hygiene and therefore be more impactful to the users of the toilets.

Summary

With the public toilets being a high-risk area in terms of the spread of germs, these simple things can support the prevention of germs being spread if followed correctly.  Especially with viruses such as Covid-19, it is important that the toilet owners give the best possible chance to users to minimise the spread of the virus but also, the users comply.

The following two tabs change content below.
Stefan Campbell
The Small Business Blog was started in 2009. Aiming to start, help, and grow small and medium sized businesses.