I was in a restaurant the other day and noticed the usual sign on the wall reminding employees to wash their hands after using the restroom. This got me to thinking… The point of this exercise is to prevent faecal matter from entering the food chain, which I fully support. This is obviously a customer based initiative, however I do not think that management is fully supporting the interest of the employees and their families.
Let’s go through the process and you will see what I mean.
In a place of employment an employee works in an environment with many different contamination sources. Trash, food, and money contribute to nasty germs that may find their way onto an employee’s hands. I am sure that they wear gloves and such to prevent getting this stuff on the customer’s food, but the hands themselves get dirty.
This also applies to other industries other than food service. Our factory is clean by most standards, but there are still a lot of chemicals, dirt, grease, and other contaminates that get on your hands.
Now for an example we will follow John to the restroom. John has just been handling all kinds of filthy items and needs to take a piss. So he heads to the restroom and proceeds to handle his equipment for the purpose of aiming at the little blue thing at the bottom of the urinal. He is successful, and also manages to not get any urine on his hands. Good for John. Next he dutifully goes to the sink and does a thorough job of washing his hands, using soap and hot water. He goes back to work with clean sanitary hands. Good job John, you will make management yet.
What is wrong with this picture? Each time John goes to the restroom he is adding another layer of filth to his personal equipment! By the time he gets home from a busy day at work what is the filthiest part of John’s body? That’s right, John has returned home to his lovely wife with layer upon layer of filth on one of their most prized and shared possessions.
I think the process should be changed to include washing your hands before and after doing your business in the restroom. The sign could easily be modified to include this phrase: “Please wash your hands before using the restroom, think of your loved ones” and then on the bottom of the sign it could say “Please wash your hands after using the restroom, think of our customers”
Just a thought…