When it comes to optimizing dispenser use and placement, preventing damage, and crafting an overall plan for a facility, BSCs can turn to distributors for guidance in a wide range of scenarios. In some cases, alternatives to sanitizers or stands can be the best answer, notes Nick Spallone, CEO, Tahoe Supply, Carson City, Nevada. For example, on countertops, hand sanitizing wipes can serve as a more cost-effective solution from a damage standpoint while still enforcing good hygiene habits among building occupants.

“There are times when we know that instead of a liquid product, putting sanitizing wipes out is going to be a better fit. We would create a system under that concept,” says Spallone. “When you look at the environment, what are people doing? Sometimes having a wipe is going to be a little bit more effective at both removing germs and protecting the environment around it.”

Allen agrees, adding that in in areas like gymnasiums, dispenser placement is critical from a safety standpoint. The sheer nature of a gymnasium floor — inviting high-speed foot traffic, frequent stops and starts, and wooden floors that provide less friction than other parts of the facility — make proper dispenser placement paramount in the prevention of potential slip-and-fall incidents.

“A lot of times there’s a school logo walk-off mat for people to wipe their feet just before they walk into the gymnasium. It’s a designated, high-traffic spot outside of the gym where people are stopping anyway,” Allen notes. “By having an easily accessible dispenser in that space, people will not only be reminded of hand hygiene, but address it in a way that prevents damaged and slippery floors.”

In more conventional areas, Allen says consistency is key to encouraging proper use of dispensers and mitigating damages. In classrooms, for example, placing a dispenser near the room entrance and/or next to a pencil sharpener will increase the chances of students and staff utilizing it, since they are visiting that area anyway.

For dining areas or cafeterias, placing a dispenser near (but not too close) to where lunch trays or plates are picked up is another handy location. Occupants will eventually implement sanitizing as part of their everyday habits.

For clients with a budget that can afford a limited number of dispensers, Allen says distributors can set up BSCs with mobile-friendly programs that can be easily transported without causing ergonomic stress or damage to the floors. It’s a perfect way to ensure that functioning dispensers are in the right spots for when foot-traffic is at the highest and the need for hand hygiene is most crucial.

Being collaborative is pivotal for a successful distributor-BSC partnership, Spallone emphasizes. Certain aspects of adopting a hand sanitizer program can be daunting from the end user’s perspective, particularly the cost of certain stands. For BSCs that are on a strict budget but still interested in a program, distributors will often agree to cover at least part of the upfront equipment fees. This allows a facility to put an initial system in place and eventually recognize the long-term benefits.

Scallan echoes a similar sentiment, as Imperial Dade will typically include drip trays to customers at no extra cost upon purchase of dispensers. In some instances, the drip trays are already designed into the dispenser stand or come equipped with an easy-clip option placed right under the spout.

BSCs should also be sure to discuss additional protection options with their distributor partners while discussing their facility setup plan, including small area mats placed directly under the dispensers. These add-on features not only provide facilities added protection, but they can go a long way toward hygienic branding efforts and convey its importance to occupants.

“These mats can have the company logo or, as many prefer, the words ‘Hand Sanitizing Station’ to direct people’s attention to the dispenser above,” says Scallan. “It allows BSCs to provide a complete hand hygiene program, without the worry of damaging the facility by doing so. We also recommend emphasizing the importance of drip trays and mats to cleaning staff, which will ensure they are maintained.”

An optimized hand sanitizer and overall hand hygiene program requires a lot of moving pieces to keep track of. By developing a reliable distributor partnership, BSCs can provide facilities with hygiene-oriented occupants while avoiding costly damage.

A graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, James DeGraff joined Trade Press Media Group in 2019 as an associate editor. He creates and oversees content for Sanitary Maintenance, Facility Cleaning Decisions and Contracting Profits magazines, as well as CleanLink.com

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How To Promote Hand Sanitizer Usage