When you’re at work, you’re inevitably thinking more about your actual work, and thinking about hygiene is probably further down your list than it should be. But the thing is, making sure you are maintaining a clean workplace and practising good hygiene is super important for the health and safety, of not just yourself, but of everyone who enters the building – including clients, visitors and even delivery people.
Proper hygiene in the workplace can help prevent illness by preventing the spread of germs, and overall just creates a more pleasant place to work. Neglecting your duty of maintaining good hygiene can have unwanted consequences, so it’s therefore crucial to ensure that are taking active steps to improve hygiene in your work area.
You’ll obviously know the basics of keeping good hygiene, but if you invest in consulting a hygiene professional, you can benefit from their expertise and ensure that the workplace is maintained to the highest standards of hygiene. Using trusted industrial hygiene consultants can help make sure you are provided tailored advice on the specific hygiene needs of your unique workplace and develop a personalised cleaning and hygiene plan that meets those needs.
They can also provide training to employees on proper cleaning and hygiene practices and recommend products and equipment that can help to improve hygiene standards. On top of all that, hygiene professionals can conduct regular inspections to ensure that the proper standards are being met and identify any areas that may need some more attention.
Time to get scrubbing! All of the surfaces that are touched by employees or visitors, such as floors, desks, restrooms, and communal areas, should be cleaned regularly. This can be done by hiring a professional cleaning service, or cleaning duties can be assigned to employees on a rotating basis. Either way can be an effective and cost-efficient way of maintaining cleanliness in the workplace.
Don’t forget that frequent disinfection of surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, and telephones is particularly important to help to reduce the risk of spreading germs and infections. This not only helps to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses but also makes the workplace a lot nicer to work in. After all, who can concentrate on their work when they’re worried about the cleanliness of the area they’re in?
It might seem like basic stuff, but encouraging employees to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds can help to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses. To make it more fun, rather than counting to 20, you can sing happy birthday twice (singing is also good for putting you in a good mood – so start flexing those vocal muscles!). Providing hand sanitisers in common areas and on desks is another effective way of promoting hand hygiene.
Waste bins can be a source of unwanted germs and bacteria, and can also produce bad odors if they are not emptied regularly. Food waste should try to be separated from recyclable materials, so each type of waste can be disposed of correctly, and, in turn, you can contribute to a more sustainable workplace too.
It can be tempting for sick employees to come in to work, but this practice should be absolutely frowned upon. If employees feel they need to come into work to get work done and make sure they get paid, then you may need to reconsider your sick leave arrangements. Sick staff members who come to work can spread germs, increasing the risk of illness and absenteeism in other employees.
Employers should make it clear to their employees that they should stay home if they are feeling unwell, even if their symptoms (such as fever, coughing, sore throat) are mild. Make sure to provide employees with clear guidelines on when they should stay home and for how long, and ensure that they have access to sick leave and flexible work arrangements so that they are not tempted to come in anyway. When your staff members are feeling cared for in this way, it can promote a culture of responsibility and care, which can lead to a more productive workforce and easier employee onboarding.
Just by simply opening a window or two, or by using air conditioning system, you can provide better ventilation which helps to reduce the risk of airborne infections by allowing fresh air to circulate and get rid of germs and contaminants in the air.
Employers should ensure that the air conditioning system is serviced and filters are cleaned regularly to ensure they are working efficiently. In addition, employers can encourage staff to take regular breaks outdoors or in well-ventilated areas.
Good ventilation is also essential in preventing the growth of mold in the workplace. Mold thrives in damp and poorly ventilated areas and can have serious health implications. When mold spores are released into the air, they can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems in individuals who are sensitive to them.
If left unchecked for too long, mold can also lead to more serious health conditions, such as asthma and lung infections. By ensuring good ventilation, humidity levels can be reduced and the growth of mold can be prevented.
Educating staff on the importance of good hygiene can be done through a variety of methods, including posters, emails, and regular staff meetings. Providing resources such as handouts and online training can reinforce good hygiene practices, subsequently creating a culture of good hygiene that is practiced by all staff members.
In summary, maintaining a hygenic workplace does take some work, but it is possible and essential to do. Consulting a professional can help you make a tailored plan, but there are basic steps you can take to improve your day-to-day hygiene practice. This can include cleaning regularly, washing your hands, training employees on the importance of hygiene, keeping the workplace well-ventilated and ensuring proper waste management. Don’t forget to tell sick employees to stay home as well.