The best line of defense is a good offense and when it comes to cold and flu season — that offense starts on the hands.

Frequent hand washing is the number-one way to prevent the spread of germs that cause colds and influenza viruses and it is the cleaners job to make sure supplies are available for building occupants to do so. This includes continuous stock of soaps, sanitizers and paper and working hand dryers, as well as signage encouraging proper hand hygiene.

Signage should motivate building occupants to wash for the appropriate 15 to 20 seconds before eating or preparing food, treating wounds or giving medicine, or touching a sick or injured person. Hands should also be cleaned after preparing food, using the restroom, blowing a nose, coughing or sneezing into hands or handling garbage.