Facilitating the Spread of Bacteria and Disease: Employee Failure to Wash Hands

In bathrooms across the country occupants often see a little sign with some variation of the phrase “employees must wash hands before returning to work.” While these placardshttps://www.colombolaw.com/umbraco/#tab104 have become commonplace in bathrooms, many employees fail to comply with the warning. In addition, employees are required by state law, rules, and regulations to wash their hands for a variety of reasons throughout the day in multiple industries. However, they often fail to comply because of the misconception that little risk is associated not washing their hands. If you or your loved one has become ill because of an employee’s failure to wash his or her hands, you deserve monetary compensation for your injuries. Contact an attorney at Colombo Law for a no-risk initial consultation today.


The results of a survey of 100,000 people, by a washroom services company, has shown that 62% of men and 40% of women admit that they do not always wash their hands after going to the bathroom. While the study was recently conducted in Europe, it does hold true in the United States, according to FDA and hospital officials. This bad habit is frowned upon for good reason: It helps the spread of bacteria and disease.

Bathrooms are a hub for bacteria. Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people enter bathrooms on any given day touching latches, soap dispensers, faucets, and door knobs before exiting. As a result, these surfaces are contaminated with many different types of bacteria that have travelled with the individual from other places. When one or more individuals fails to wash his or her hands prior to exiting, it re-contaminates surfaces others use when exiting. This has been a major problem for employers in the food services industry and others. Some employers have attempted to combat the problem by designating certain facilities for employee use only.

Food Service Industry

Employees are required to wash their hands before handling food to prevent the spread of bacteria. It is recommended that employees wash their hands after eating, drinking, touching their face, coughing, scratching their nose, or using tobacco. Transmission of bacteria to food is a common cause of food related illnesses.


Studies have shown that hospital employees wash their hands in only 30% of the cases in which they interact with their patients. Hospital-acquired infections lead to approximately 100,000 deaths per year. The failure to use proper hand hygiene costs the hospital industry about 30 billion dollars each year. In fact, hand hygiene is such a problem across the United States that some hospitals are taking a proactive approach to prevent injuries associated with improper hygiene, including one in Long Island.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident or incident but are unsure of whether you have a personal injury claim, contact Colombo Law today for a risk-free initial consultation to get you or your loved one the assistance that is deserved.


by Colombo Law
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