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Implementing a hand washing policy, whatever the work environment, is one of the best workplace health tips. Making sure shared areas are cleaned daily is also important. Since the connections between stress and health are becoming more obvious, a great deal of focus should also be placed on eliminating hostility in the workplace.
The washing of hands every time the restroom is used is stressed in workplaces that handle food. For the sake of workplace health, it is best to implement it in all occupational environments. Unclean hands present a risk in the workplace because although consumable items may not be handled, people tend to share a lot of items, such as railings, copy machines, and elevator buttons. Afterward, they tend to engage in tasks such as drinking coffee, using the telephone, and touching their faces. These combinations of factors can result in the unclean hands of one person making another person ill.
Considering the number of shared items, it is important to have the shared areas in a workplace cleaned every day. This may require a cleaning service but the cost should not be a deterrent if workplace health is a priority. The need for daily cleaning applies even for those who are employed at a small operation.
Anyone wanting to improve workplace health should promote good health and cleanliness. Small gestures such as trying to keep tissues, hand sanitizers, and other items around that encourage good hygiene can change unhealthy habits. Those who have the option should post information, such as health tips or news, on boards in the break room or other common areas. Those with managerial positions can arrange for various types of health screenings and seminars. Implementing assistance programs for those who want to stop smoking can also have a major impact.
Increasing amounts of information is being presented about the effects of a hostile workplace. Efforts should be made to observe the relations between employees. It has been found that many people are involved in on-going negative interactions with one or more co-workers but silently suffer due to feelings of hopelessness. To prevent the stress-related health problems that could result from this, there should be programs in place that help workers solve or cope with these issues.
Prioritizing workload over employee health can have serious negative effects on workplace health. If a person is made to work when she is sick, the chances are high that she will be sick for longer or she may develop new or more severe problems. Additionally, if she is sick with a contagious condition, there are chances she could infect others, which can drastically reduce productivity.
@Scrbblchick -- So true. In the realm of physical health, though, the powers that be should make sure there are antibacterial hand gel dispensers in the building, along with a well-stocked first aid kit.
Canteen companies should be encouraged to stock a fair number of healthy snacks and drinks in the machines. I'm a diabetic and had to howl for low-sugar items to be placed in the machines. They were all about the low fat items, but that's worth precisely nothing when the snack in question is filled with carbs. They had cold coffee drinks in the machine and finally would throw in a couple of the low-sugar kind, which was great for those of us on a low sugar diet!
Allowing poor morale to continue unchecked is surely a huge detriment to workplace health. Poor morale means some employees hit the bar before they go home, just to unwind and forget about the day. Some of them can handle this, but many cannot.
Poor morale can also contribute to depression, anxiety, anger, and a whole host of other ills. Productivity will almost certainly drop, because unappreciated, depressed employees just don't care much about their work.
Employers should do as much as they can to keep morale up, even in a poor economic climate. Letting employees know they are important and appreciated is a huge step in boosting morale and workplace health, by extension.
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