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Question

What kind of hand sanitizer should we get for our workplace?

Answer
By Henry Skjerven | Last updated: April 8, 2021
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When purchasing hand sanitizer for the workplace, you should select a product with contents that meet the criteria of public health authorities. For example, the CDC recommends using sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol.

There are two basic types of hand sanitizing products to choose from: gels and liquids. Price point may also be a consideration, but getting a product people will use is more important.

From our collective experience over the last 14 months we've learned that you should not only consider sanitizer stations but also personal and even pocket-sized containers. These will help create ease of use, which will increase compliance. Doing this also allows employees to take the product home and use it there, which is a great way to promote the use of santizers and uphold your company's commitment to safety.

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Further Considerations

Since we're talking about workplace use, here are some points you will need to consider.

  • Regardless of the product purchased, it must have a Safety Data Sheet.
  • The product must be labeled with the appropriate symbols, information about the risks and dangers associated with the product, and other pertinent safety details.
  • If you are decanting the sanitizer into smaller containers, remember that those must be correctly labeled as well.
  • If you have a scent-free work place, you will have to purchase a sanitizer without added fragrance.
  • Obtain and post instructions for workers and visitors about the product and its use. For example, make it clear that these products are to be left on and allowed to dry on the hands, not applied and then washed off like you would with soap.
  • You will need to hold safety talks about the rules and regulations you are putting in place regarding their use.

Take the time to look for the right product. The choice of sanitizer for the workplace requires the same due diligence as any other safety product.

Me personally? I like the one from our local craft beer brewery, which switched to making hand sanitizer last June. Why? It works well, the containers are labelled for the workplace and, best of all, it smells good even without added scents.

One Final Check Before Purchasing

Before you make your decision, there is one more resource you should consult.

If your workplace is in the United States, check out the Food and Drug Administration's list of products you shouldn't use. If your sanitizer is on it, look for an alternative.

If you're located in Canada, check the list of hand sanitizers that have been authorized by Health Canada.

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Written by Henry Skjerven

Mr. Skjerven has consulted professionally for over 27 years, with extensive Canadian experience, literally from coast to coast but with a home base in Western Canada. His experience ranges from marketing, adult education, and heavy transportation (rail) to municipal public works, fleet and transportation, oil and gas construction in the tar sands, emergency response (Fire and Ambulance), Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Security, as well as human resources and software systems, including enterprise style projects.

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