The economic potential of good hand hygiene

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In this study, we investigate how good hand hygiene in the workplace can reduce sickness absence in Denmark and thereby increase the effective labour supply and create greater economic value.

In this study, good hand hygiene is regular use of hand alcohol. The study is based on the existing research literature, who have investigated how the use of hand alcohol affects sickness absence in the workplace, and draws on publicly available data on sick leave, etc. We compare the effect of good hand hygiene with the situation before the corona pandemic.

Our main results are:

  • Good hand hygiene in the workplace can reduce the number of days of absence in Denmark by about 1.9 million days per year.
  • This corresponds to an increase in the effective labour supply by about 8,900 full-time employees per year and an increase in value creation (gross value added) by almost 1 billion euros per year.

The study is commissioned by Kosmetik- og hygiejnebranchen.

HBS Economics (2021): "Samfundsøkonomisk potentiale ved god håndhygiejne"