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What are the Best Tips for Improving Workplace Hygiene?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Improving workplace hygiene can help prevent a variety of problems from arising. Proper workplace hygiene can cut down on the spread of infectious diseases, leading to fewer sick days. It can also reduce employee stress by providing a clean, healthy working environment. For workplaces that involve food handling or regular customer contact, improving workplace hygiene can also protect clients and customers from exposure to illness and other hygienic issues.

There are several things that employers can do to help improve workplace hygiene. It Is important to ensure that the workplace is adequately cleaned on a regular basis; dust, dirt, and abandoned waste can all contribute to the spread of bacteria and disease. Hiring a janitor or cleaning service that provides weekly clean-ups can go a long way to improving workplace hygiene. Be sure that workers are provided with supplies that encourage hygiene, such as soap in the bathrooms, tissues, wastebaskets, and hand sanitizer. Making these objects available can encourage workers to maintain good hygiene on a daily basis.

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Make sure building maintenance is taken care of on a timely basis. Before firing up heaters or air conditioners for the season, make sure that they are checked for dangerous leaks and dirty filters. Keeping the air clean can help to cut down on respiratory illness, allergies, and asthma attacks. Consider putting the office or workplace through a “spring cleaning” once a season, where the whole workforce takes place in a general cleaning or sanitizing of the office to cut down on lingering germs.

While mandating bathing is impossible, it is important to encourage workers to maintain good personal hygiene, both for the image of the company and the health and comfort of those around them. Employing a dress code that stresses a professional appearance can sometimes help employees understand that they need to be clean and hygienic when performing their jobs. Some workplaces post signs that remind employees about hand washing and other required hygiene practices, but these are not always enough to stop a contamination or germ-spreading issue.

Some experts suggest that it is important to not harass or get angry with employees for taking allowed sick days. While it may cause strain on the business to lose a sick worker temporarily, it can be nothing compared to the consequences of a person working while sick and infecting everyone else nearby. Try to make sure that workers know it is preferred that they stay home if they have contagious symptoms, such as a cough or fever.

In industrial jobs, improving workplace hygiene may not only stop the spread of a workplace flu, it may help to protect employees from dangerous substances. Make certain that the workplace follows all precaution to avoid exposure to harmful substances, such as chemicals, air pollution, or radioactive material. Providing workers with good safety gear that is regularly checked for any tears or damage can also protect employees from harm and workplaces from safety-related lawsuits.

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Fa5t3r
Post 4

@irontoenail - Even more than disinfecting equipment, I think the main thing people can do to improve workplace hygiene is to not expect their workers to come in when they are sick. Bacteria and viruses don't just spontaneously appear from nowhere. They are brought into the workplace by workers.

It might feel like you're being productive by insisting they work with only a cold, but if someone else in the office is particularly vulnerable to that cold bug then you are going to lose more work-hours.

irontoenail
Post 3

@bythewell - People always get up in arms about keyboards being breeding grounds for bacteria but the truth is that they aren't that bad if they are only being used by a single person. It's when objects are handled by multiple people that they become a real hygiene issue because that's how disease spreads.

I would actually make it part of the IT department's job to occasionally clean things like keyboards, rather than expecting cleaning staff to do it. Unless their company details that they have training to clean electronic parts then they might inadvertently damage something.

Anyone who works in IT should be able to clean keyboards and monitors, or at least explain to other staff how they can do it. Really, all you need is one of those keyboard cleaners that has disinfecting properties and it's only the work of a few minutes a week.

bythewell
Post 2

The places that tend to accumulate the worse bacterial loads are ones that are touched frequently by the hands and not cleaned very often. They say that the average toilet seat is much cleaner in terms of bacteria than the average keyboard or even doorknob. So one of the things that you need to do to improve workplace hygiene is encourage your employees to clean and disinfect their keyboards and mice and the handles of their desk drawers and things like that.

Either that or make sure the cleaning staff will do it every week when they tidy the rest of the office.

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