How many office workers leave the bathroom without washing their hands?

WASHINGTON — How many office workers leave the bathroom without washing their hands?

Restaurant restrooms have signs that say “All employees must wash their hands.” Maybe your office should have them too.

A survey by Bradley Corporation, a manufacturer of commercial washroom fixtures, finds 56 percent of workers say they frequently or occasionally see colleagues leave the restroom without washing up.

Men are more likely to say so — 63 percent versus 49 percent of women.

It’s not an inviting thought, “especially when you consider how frequently co-workers shake hands and the multitude of public surfaces they tough throughout the day,” said Bradley.

For those who need a reminder, a good, thorough hand washing should include soap, vigorous scrubbing for at least 20 seconds and running water to wash away the bacteria, germs and dirt that accumulate on hands.

Bradley has conducted its Healthy Hand Washing Survey since 2009.

The company also asked workers what could be done to improve their workplace restrooms.

Air fresheners are the No. 1 amenity workers would like to have added, followed by touch-free fixtures and hand sanitizer.

According to Bradley’s survey, 42 percent said they’ve had “unpleasant experiences” in their workplace restroom.

Workers most often cited clogged and unflushed toilets, unpleasant smells, paper towels on the floor and restrooms that are old, dirty and unkempt.

Hand washing is one of the first lines of defense against illness and 61 percent say they wash their hands more frequently during cold and flu season.

Bradley — which again sells commercial restroom fixtures — says a bad restroom reflects on the company.

“For employees and the general public the condition of restrooms is a litmus test for business and establishments, said Jon Dommisse, marketing director at Bradley Corp.

“What’s more, 84 percent expect a business that provides high quality products or services to also have restrooms that provide a high quality experience.”

Bradley surveyed more than 1,000 working Americans for its Healthy Hand Washing report.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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