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The female of the species is cleaner than the male


Initial reveals washroom habits of 100,000 people across Europe and launches new Hygiene Connect system to improve levels of hand washing

If you have ever harboured doubts about the personal hygiene habits of your work colleagues, then you may not want to read any further.

Today, we have launched a new system to improve hand hygiene compliance, as well as releasing findings from the largest ever analysis into hand washing habits. These findings reveal that just 38% of the men and 60% of the women who were monitored, washed their hands after using the toilet.

Key Findings:

  • Anonymous monitoring of 100,000 people reveals that only 38% of men and 60% of women wash their hands after going to the toilet, risking cross contamination and the spread of illness
  • Initial launches Hygiene Connect; the first fully-integrated monitoring, display, and recording system, which is designed to improve standards of hand washing by up to 50%

The data was compiled as part of an extensive trial across Europe and the UK of a new advanced sensing system for washrooms, which is designed specifically to raise hand hygiene compliance. Once installed, this ground-breaking new product - ‘Initial Hygiene Connect’ - successfully delivered an increase in hand washing compliance of up to 50%.

With Initial Hygiene Connect, sensors on washroom doors and soap dispensers monitor washroom and soap usage. The aggregated, anonymous data is then reported back to workers in real-time via LCD hygiene compliance monitors located outside of the washrooms. Seeing the data dramatically changes behaviour and in one trial compliance rose to over 90% within two days of the data being displayed, before stabilising between 80% and 85%.

Pilots were undertaken across multiple customer types including education, office and retail facilities as well as other sectors where good hand hygiene is essential. In total the washroom habits of 100,000 people were analysed. Initial Hygiene Connect launches today in the Netherlands and will soon be available across Europe. The service is available to any organisation but demand is expected to be highest in the food, health and education sectors and among large corporate employers wanting to reduce absenteeism amongst employees, due to infectious diseases (such as colds and flu).

“Good hand hygiene is essential in some industries, such as food processing, but it also helps stop the spread of disease in everyday life. One day every washroom will have some sort of monitoring system to give us that nudge to wash our hands,” says Stewart Power, Marketing and Innovation Director at Rentokil Initial. “This is the first system that provides anonymous data back to washroom users and we have seen that it changes behaviour and genuinely reduces the risk of cross contamination.”

Benefits of Initial Hygiene Connect

  • Improves hand washing rates by up to 50%: protecting brands and reputations by reducing the risk of cross contamination and ultimately protecting the wellbeing of customers and employees
  • Continuous monitoring of Hand Hygiene compliance: delivers the benefits of human monitoring often used in high risk environments but on a continuous basis, at a fraction of the cost
  • Drives compliance while maintaining privacy: unlike some other approaches, data is anonymous and has not raised privacy concerns
  • Places responsibility on the individual: the display shows the team compliance rate and uses ‘nudge theory’ and peer pressure to encourage each individual to do their bit
  • Proves an organisation’s commitment to Hygiene: visible demonstration to employees and auditors that a business places the highest focus on minimising a key hygiene risk
  • Delivers actionable insight: online access to real-time data about footfall and compliance rates in each of your washrooms, helps identify issues and support behavioural change


The Initial Hygiene Connect system requires no wiring in the washroom and can be installed with the minimum of disruption. It can even be retrofitted to many types of soap dispensers. Find out more here