Indoor Health Council (IHC), an organization dedicated to improving indoor health and wellness, announced the launch of its Clean Hands Certification program, a one-year program that teaches and rewards proper handwashing techniques and habits. The program is led by Dr. Chuck Gerba, a renowned microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, who serves as the principal scientist and advisor for the program.

"Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and protect our health, especially in indoor environments where we spend most of our time," says Dr. Gerba. "The Clean Hands Certification program is designed to educate and motivate workers and employers to adopt and maintain good hand hygiene practices, which can reduce the cost of illness, absenteeism, and lost productivity."

The Clean Hands Certification program consists of three elements: technique, timing, and incentives. Participants learn how to wash their hands properly through a video demonstration and feedback from handwashing proctors, who use the Power Learning Program, a video-based learning platform that allows for self-paced and interactive learning. Participants also learn when to wash their hands, such as before and after eating, using the restroom, touching shared surfaces or objects, and coughing or sneezing. Finally, participants receive cash incentives for reaching monthly milestones and completing the program, which helps them form lasting habits.

"The Clean Hands Certification program is not only beneficial for individual health, but also for business performance," says Allen Rathey, director of the Indoor Health Council. "By investing in the health and wellness of employees, building service contractors and other firms can improve their bottom line and create a safer and more productive work environment. We are thrilled to have Dr. Gerba as our principal scientist and partner, as he brings a wealth of expertise and credibility to our program."

Dr. Gerba also endorsed the Indoor Health Council's innovative training approach, saying, "I love the Indoor Health Council’s innovative training approach including video of trainee work to review as a learning follow-up and as part of a quality control plan. This is impactful while adding weight to program certificates given as evidence of educational achievement."