Going Public

Stuart Hands from Tork manufacturer Essity talks about how public washrooms could be configured to make sure that people feel safe; while Paul Swift of hygiene services company Elis, outlines ten simple questions that business can ask themselves to greatly help enhance their washroom hygiene

O nce again, we all have been emerging in to the world following a national lockdown back. There’s a collective feeling of deja vu once we return into offices, shops, restaurants, town and stadiums centres after months spent confined to your houses.

And exactly like this past year, various strategies are increasingly being employed to make sure our safety and instil public confidence.

Publicly-used washrooms certainly are a particular section of concern because the world reopens. Lots of people are nervous about using away-from-home toilets at the very best of that time period either for concern with picking up contamination or since they feel uncomfortable about sharing a romantic space with strangers.

Ministers had an obvious technique for reopening washrooms by the end of Lockdown One. In summer 2020, MUNICIPALITY Minister Simon Clarke and Environment Minister Rebecca Pow developed several recommendations in a letter addressed to councils.

These suggestions included the usage of signs and posters to market good handwashing practices and the introduction of floor markers to encourage social distancing.

A “one in, one out” strategy was mooted alongside moves to improve ventilation and increase cleaning frequency. Also it was stressed that hand hygiene facilities ought to be made freely obtainable in the proper execution of running water, liquid soap and the right hand drying option.

Each one of these recommendations made sense in a global in which a deadly virus was thriving in stuffy, indoor environments where people together gathered closely. However the implementation of a few of these measures only served to heighten people’s anxiety levels, that have been running high already.

Stark reminders to hand-wash and stick to one-way systems created an over-all sense of unease. Some washroom managers attemptedto enforce social distancing by taping off alternate wash urinals and basins. But this gave a “crime-scene” feel to the premises that was hardly more likely to reassure an already nervous washroom user.

The suggested “one in, one out” strategy made sense, nonetheless it was often hard to inform from the outside if anyone was already in the premises. This resulted in frustrated people forming queues outside empty facilities.

In some instances, a green/red indicator – either an electric version or perhaps a manual slider – was used to designate occupation status. Washroom visitors were asked to change the display to red on green and entering if they exited, but many either forgot to take action or left the indicator switched to red in order to avoid touching a potentially-contaminated slider after washing their hands.


In order we start our facilities once more, it is clear that time around our washrooms have to combine positive messaging with workable strategies in a nice and reassuring environment.

Obvious signs that facilities are increasingly being well managed and safely run could have a far more positive effect than dire warnings about COVID-19. Where information on cleaning schedules are displayed this can instil confidence in visitors clearly, especially if the messaging includes contact numbers to permit visitors to report any run-outs or other hygiene issues.

Windows and doors ought to be left open where practically possible to boost ventilation also to allow people to tell if other people is inside. Hand sanitiser dispensers placed at washroom doors shall become a supplementary safeguard upon leaving the premises, and a continuous way to obtain soap and paper will prevent folks from having to spend your time trying to find a cubicle with wc paper or a sink which has a soap supply.

Hand hygiene is essential after utilizing the toilet. All of the advice states that the hands ought to be washed for at the very least 20 seconds to help keep people safe from COVID-19. While this practice cannot up be sped, easy-to-use systems that enable a swift washroom throughput shall enable visitors to exit more quickly.

The provision of hand towels is practical in a global where social distancing, visitor confidence and a speedy throughput are of paramount importance. We have been now being confronted with a situation where fewer people are permitted to use the washroom simultaneously to facilitate social distancing. But we have been also likely to wash and dry our hands for longer and much more thoroughly to help keep ourselves COVID-safe.

You’ll be able to extract hand towels from the dispenser and utilize them on the go, whereas air dryers require visitors to stay in situ as the fresh air does the task for them. And this may lead to queues, logjams and an elevated degree of risk.

COVID-19 has made most of us more nervous about touching washroom fixtures and surfaces which has led to an elevated usage of touch-free taps, flush dispensers and systems. It has additionally made people more reluctant to the touch cubicle door handles and outer door panels.

In accordance with a United Minds survey completed with respect to of Tork, an Essity brand 38 % of UK survey respondents say they’re less inclined to visit places that not offer paper hand towels as a hand drying alternative. When asked about hand drying specifically, 59 % of the survey respondents said they wished more facilities offered paper towels instead of air dryers. And nearly 29 % expressed a fresh preference for hand towels in the wake of the pandemic.

There are many other ways where washroom use could be increased while providing a reassuring environment for the general public. Bins placed close to the exits will enable people to withdraw a towel from the dispenser and move from the machine, drying their hands because they go.

The provision of a hand sanitiser dispenser beyond your washroom will offer you visitors an extra degree of protection while assisting to prevent bottlenecks and logjams. And a mini soft towel dispenser by the outer door will encourage visitors to work with a towel as a barrier with all the door handle, as the removal of mirrors from sink units shall discourage folks from lingering.

Many restaurants and bars now provide facility to order food or drinks via an app. It therefore seems a logical step to include a “virtual toilet queue” function to these apps to avoid people from needing to form physical queues.

It isn’t surprising that some individuals still feel cautious with re-entering shopping centres, stadiums, restaurants and gyms after so many months spent in lockdown. It is therefore imperative to rebuild public confidence and ensure visitor safety by discovering practical and workable washroom strategies.