“Don’t touch the handrail!” is a phrase we’ve all uttered at one point or another during this pandemic, especially when discouraging children from coming in contact with surfaces in public places.
Along with door handles, ATMs and keypads, handrails have been identified as a key danger zone for Covid-19 germs, and one that is present in almost every environment, from schools and hospitals to retail centres and public transportation hubs.
While we would have previously used the handrails in these environments without thinking, now we find ourselves more reluctant to touch any surface that isn’t absolutely necessary – taking a little extra care to descend that staircase without holding on, and taking little ones by the hand instead of allowing them to use a handrail independently.
That’s all fine for fit, able-bodied people in everyday environments where the hand rail is a convenience more than a necessity. But for some people, and in some environments – such as hospitals and care homes – handrails are a non-negotiable.
Why is handrail hygiene important?
As well as supporting people with mobility issues, handrails prevent hundreds of falls every year. As a result, this simple interior specialty can save a facility millions of dollars in indemnity each year, not to mention the additional costs if staff members are unable to work due to injuries caused by falls.
But depending on what they’re made of, handrails also have the potential to make people sick.
A recent study showed that almost half of Ontario’s hospitals are in poor condition, with dated facilities that no longer meet best practice standards on functionality and hygiene. As an example, these older facilities commonly have wooden handrails. Wood is a porous material which means it can absorb moisture if not properly sealed. Bacteria and other germs can also live and breed inside the pores within the surface, allowing them to evade disinfectants and making the handrail a ticking infection control time-bomb.
It’s not surprising, then, that many facilities have pressed ‘fast forward’ on their handrail upgrade plans in 2020.
Do your facility’s handrails need an urgent upgrade?
Belroc supplies and installs a wide array of standard and bariatric handrail in a range of hardwearing, easy-to-disinfect finishes. Available non-wood options include stainless steel and vinyl, with the latter available in a broad range of attractive colours. Facilities can choose from standard profiles or multi-purpose handrails that can double as a crash rail to protect walls from damage due to passing foot and cart/bed traffic.
We have significant stocks of handrail available for rapid dispatch. Our team of installers can replace your old handrail in record time and with minimal disruption, even in ‘live’ healthcare settings.
Make handrail one less thing to worry about this winter – contact us now for a quote, or to set up a phone consultation – email Dan Lawrenson; email@example.com.