Hand sanitiser is now being far more widely used due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although hand washing is the preferred method of eliminating viruses and bacteria there are some occasions where hand sanitising gel is your only option.
Effective hand sanitiser has a high alcohol content and recently I’ve seen a report where this has caused a surprising injury. A contractor working in the building industry had used hand sanitiser and then touched a metal surface before the alcohol content in the sanitiser had evaporated. A static charge passed into them and ignited an almost invisible flame on their hands. Luckily they managed to get both hands into water quickly, but they did suffer partial thickness burns.
Where soap and water is not available the following precautions should be used when using alcohol based hand sanitiser:
- Rub the hands all over, following normal hand washing techniques
- Keep rubbing until the skin feels dry
- Aid evaporation by shaking your hands
- Wait one minute before touching surfaces, especially metal
- Whilst waiting also keep away from heat sources, sparks, naked flames & hot surfaces
- Store gels away from heat and sources of ignition
Remember, hand hygiene is essential in reducing the spread of Covid-19 and other infections, please keep those hands clean!