06 December 2010

100% compliance

my casual observation is that, in the mens' room, 40-60% of guys wash their hands after urinating.

i started at a new client 3 weeks ago, a downtown bank, and am shocked to note a full 100% handwashing compliance. further, there are a lot of guys doing a pretty thorough job of it.

somehow, it's strange: maybe Big Brother-like, maybe Stepford Wives-like. a religious handwasher, i now feel as though i'm slacking, by not using enough soap, or water hot enough, or not being thorough enough.

am i seeing the result of a very successful company-led handwashing campaign? i've even entertained the idea that there are cameras in there, and either 1) everyone knows it, or 2) the company hires only those who were observed to wash their hands while their for interviewing (and bad luck to those who didn't need to go!).

what kind of madness is this?


JustJoeP said...

As a former Facilities Engineer, and "CPE" (Certified Plant Engineer) who has dealt with myriad issues regarding commercial and industrial rest room maintenance, expansion, upgrades, and policy (both company policy, as well as state, local, and federal statutes), I would say with a 3 sigma confidence level that there are NO cameras in the rest room. If there are cameras, then you would have been notified and would have had to sign a waiver of your rights to privacy in the "sacred" space of the rest room. Keep in mind, in many rest rooms for women there are couches, for one to "rest" on when they are not feeling well, as well as various personal hygiene vending machines. Putting cameras or any recording / monitoring devices in rest rooms requires strong legal consultation and public acknowledgment that such devices are installed and for what purpose they serve.

What is MORE likely, is that the office you are now in has been expressly instructed on the efficacy of the reduction of transmission of illness via thorough hand washing. Also, the current facility may have warmer water, more appealing soap, and better drying technology (like Dyson Air Knives, for example), which encourages those using the facility to use them.

I doubt it is an enforcement mechanism in place, and instead I strong suspect it is cultural awareness, increased facility quality, and a (perhaps) a more congenial work environment.

pyker said...

I wonder if they chose hand-washing ahead of a "don't whizz on your hands" campaign.

Work here has gone crazy with the hand-sanitizers. There are bottles of it everywhere. H1N1-inspired.

zim said...

actually Joe, the bathroom is kinda crap, and one must maneuver to the far end of the room to get to the sinks.

there's definitely nothing in there to encourage handwashing, it must simply be a cultural thing.

even, then, 100% is shocking to me. i've never seen that before. even at Andersen, where you'd think a Big 6 consulting firm, with an army of impressive young men and all that, would have a high percentage. not so.

JustJoeP said...

Perhaps they had a outbreak, prior to your arrival, of some hand-transmissible contagion, and it scared the bejesus out of all the men.

Or maybe they're part of a hand washing cult...