National Survey Looks at Workplace Restrooms

A national handwashing survey showed that 83 percent of Americans believe the condition of a workplace restroom is one indicator of how a company values its workforce. The survey also found that 66 percent of employees rate their workplace restroom as excellent or very good.

However, approximately one-third report they've experienced a range of annoying issues. Toilets that were clogged or not flushed; really bad smells; and toilet paper or towel dispensers that are empty or jammed were the three most common complaints.

The findings are part of the fourth annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey conducted by Bradley Corporation, a manufacturer of commercial handwashing products.

In the workplace, good hand hygiene seems to be important to employees. Just 11 percent of workers say they frequently see people leave the restroom without washing their hands. That compares to the national results that show 30 percent of Americans frequently see people who skip hand washing in a public restroom.

Unfortunately, the survey also revealed that the majority of Americans aren't washing their hands long enough. 57 percent of survey respondents estimate they wash for just 5 to 15 seconds. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds and suggests singing "Happy Birthday" twice to allow enough time to remove and rinse away germs.

Bradley has conducted its survey for the past several years, but this is the first time the company has delved into the workplace. The survey queried 1,046 American adults Aug 1-3, 2012 about their handwashing habits in public restrooms. Participants were from around the country, ranged in age from 18 to 65 and older, and were fairly evenly split between men (49 percent) and women (51 percent).