Infection control is an everyday concern for custodial workers and more often than not, procedures are in place to prevent the spread of bacteria long before the American public learns of a pandemic outbreak.

But, if cleaners have learned anything from the Swine Flu, MRSA or Bird Flu outbreaks in the last couple years, it is that no matter how prepared cleaning departments are, the public only recognizes prevention in the form of hand sanitizer offerings. When soap and water are not an option, building occupants want sanitizers readily available.

Hand sanitizers are easy to use because they don't require a water source, they are portable so placement shouldn't be an issue and they don't take any time to use. Plus, public awareness of sanitizers has increased to a point where building occupants understand why it is important to incorporate sanitizers into an existing hand washing program.

Studies show that offering hand sanitizing options does work in preventing infection. Facilities that provide sanitizers and encourage their use have seen a 20 percent drop in absenteeism due to illness.