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Kimberly-Clark Professional has launched the Healthy Workplace Project, a comprehensive approach to hand hygiene aimed at reducing workplace absenteeism and the productivity and business losses that occur when workers are sidelined by colds, the flu and other contagious ailments.
"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," says 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."
The Healthy Workplace Project is the first program specifically designed to combat germs throughout an office building -- in the restroom, in common areas, conference rooms, desks and other places. It focuses on the six prime links in the germ transmission chain: after sneezing, before eating, at the beginning of the day, at the beginning of a meeting, in the restroom, and at the end of the day.
The Healthy Workplace Project aims to break the germ transmission chain by providing a host of materials to educate and engage employees as well as tools to help office building managers reduce absenteeism. These tools include:
- An Absenteeism Calculator, which uses tenant data to provide information on how much office building workers lose every year from absenteeism as well as how much can be saved by implementing the elements of the Healthy Workplace Project.
- Free Products for Tenants Select office building properties will receive free "desk drop" packages to give to employees, with instant hand sanitizer, Kleenex brand pocket pack tissues and educational information.
- E-communications to help office building and facility managers communicate with tenants on ways to stay healthy and reduce absenteeism.
- Collateral and Educational Information Pamphlets, cling stickers for bathroom mirrors, stalls and break rooms, posters and other materials to change behavior and create a healthier workplace.
Kimberly-Clark Professional's Healthy Workplace Project is supported by no-touch restroom dispensers and four distinct product offerings:
- A complete range of soaps the best defense against the spread of germs.
- Hand towels which kill 77 percent more germs than if hands are dried without them.
- Instant hand sanitizers particularly in high-traffic areas where germs are easily spread. According to one study, use of a hand sanitizer can reduce a person's sick days by 21 percent.
- Surface wiping products which kill germs on keyboards, desks and other personal surfaces. The average desk harbors 20,961 germs per square inch -- 400 times more than the average toilet seat.
"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 adds. "If you do, you'll have a healthy workplace and healthier employees."
For more information about the Healthy Workplace project, visit www.healthyworkplaceproject.com.