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A Nudge for Workplace Hygiene: Encouraging Use of Hand Sanitizer Dispensers in Office Hallways
Last registered on November 12, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
A Nudge for Workplace Hygiene: Encouraging Use of Hand Sanitizer Dispensers in Office Hallways
Initial registration date
November 12, 2019
Last updated
November 12, 2019 11:27 AM EST
Primary Investigator
B4Development Foundation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Hand hygiene is central to public health, yet rates of hand-washing practice around the world are abysmal. Beyond avoiding uncomfortable and potentially deadly health outcomes for victims of communicable illness, encouraging better hand hygiene should be a priority for both policymakers and industrial leaders who have financial incentives in mind as both absence from work and reduced productivity while sick on the job lead to nearly $600 billion a year in costs to the United States economy alone (Japsen, 2012). Insights from academic research in psychology suggest that simple changes to the decision-making environment can prompt large-scale changes in behavioral trends. Research indicates that when hands are not visibly soiled, hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of 60 to 95 percent is actually more effective in killing microorganisms on hands than plain or antibacterial soap (Boyce & Pittet, 2002). Hand sanitizer dispensers are becoming ubiquitous in public spaces and demand little effort to use but — according to data on refill frequency and conversations with maintenance staff in our office building — may in many cases be seldom visited. We aspire to nudge more frequent hand sanitization in order to create a healthier workplace.
The intervention will involve data collection on the behavior of visitors on up to 14 floors of an office building. All foot traffic passes by hallway hand sanitizer dispensers that are located adjacent to toilet facilities at either end of a central hallway lined with elevators. In order to encourage more frequent use of the dispenser stations, we propose implementing behavioral nudges on floors around the dispenser or just above the dispenser stations that are assigned to the two experimental condition during the randomization process.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Dimitropoulos, Georgios and Fadi Makki. 2019. "A Nudge for Workplace Hygiene: Encouraging Use of Hand Sanitizer Dispensers in Office Hallways." AEA RCT Registry. November 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5028-1.0.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Average amount of hand sanitizing gel used (in grams) per employee card swipe.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Every time the employees leave the office space, they need to swipe their ID card in order for the doors leading towards the elevators or the toilets to open. The number of swipes per each door (next to which are the hand saniziters), will be provided by the building security. Each hand sanitizer bag will be measured daily and the amount of hand sanitizing gel used will be divided by the number of swipes.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The total of 14 floors will be randomly assigned to either control group, treatment 1 group or treatment 2 group .On the floors that will fall into treatment group 1, we will put a poster with a message encouraging people to sanitize their hands. The poster will be placed just above the dispenser, as per the picture attached. On the floors that will be assigned to treatment group 2 we will put stickers on the floor and wall leading towards the dispenser.
Experimental Design Details
The message on the poster will be: "Here at "XY Tower", we look out for each other's health." both in English and Arabic. The stickers will be in a form of soap bubbles.
Randomization Method
The randomisation was done in office by using STATA.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
28 000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
4 control, 5 treatment group 1, 5 treatment group 2
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)