Presented by Employsure Consultant, Sophie Shieff, this webinar covers the essentials that employers need to know about the new Government's...
Health and safetySeptember 6, 2019
All workplace environments need to be hygienic and safe for both employees and visitors. This applies to all, not just workplaces involved in handling food and personal products.
A solid workplace hygiene policy is the best way to ensure employees maintain a clean workplace.
Each workplace will require different hygiene requirements. Certain tasks, or industries may also create risks which require additional protection than those discussed below. However, below are some key areas all workplaces should consider for their workplace hygiene policy.
Hygiene is important in the workplace because it contributes to a healthy workforce. A healthy workforce is happier and more productive. A healthy workplace also means workers take less sick leave. Which will reduce the huge cost that sick leave places on small business – it is reported that it costs SMEs $20,000 a year.
Provide staff with a written hygiene policy. Inform them of your intentions and expectations of a clean workplace. This helps communicate to staff that you also take workplace hygiene seriously.
It is pivotal for a hygienic workplace to have a clean bathroom. Also ensure that the bathroom is well stocked with soap, toilet paper and hand towels.
Provide items such as these to help your staff maintain a clean and hygienic workspace. Employees are more likely to use such items if they are readily available.
Make sure your workplace is regularly cleaned. This helps prevent the spread of infection, and a cleaned workplace also maintains morale and a sense of professionalism.
Basic hygiene in the workplace can be put down to four different things: personal hygiene; work area cleanliness; clean restroom facilities; and a clean kitchen.
Personal hygiene refers to the cleanliness, appearance and habits of employees. Personal hygiene of employees, for obvious reasons, can be a sensitive issue for business owners.
An official policy helps to ease any awkwardness, as employees will understand what is expected of them.
Criteria may include showering, using deodorant or perfume, grooming facial hair and hair-washing. Hand washing and the use of hand sanitisers also has great importance as a protection against the spread of illnesses.
Workplace hygiene policies should also make provision for each employee to clean and maintain their own workstation or work areas.
The hygiene policy could include regular cleaning of surfaces with disinfectant. This would result in a drastic reduction of infection and illness. Policies typically also include keeping the area tidy and free of clutter.
The Healthy and Safety at Work Regulations Act even states that business must maintain clean, safe and accessible facilities.
Provide toilets with hand soap, toilet paper and hand drying towels or equipment. Prompt your workers to practice personal hygiene after using the facilities.
Some businesses hire an external cleaning service to attend to the restrooms. If employees are required to maintain the facilities themselves, however, the workplace hygiene policy could include details such as the frequency of cleaning and the type of products to use for cleaning the floor, toilet bowls and sinks.
As the kitchen is a shared environment, it is vital that good hygiene is observed. Regular cleaning and maintenance of utensils and equipment is a must in any workplace hygiene policy.
This allocates accountability for the task of cleaning and helps to ensure that it gets done. Employees who are unhappy about the levels of workplace hygiene can complain if they believe the standards of cleanliness are poor enough to constitute a health risk.
For businesses that prepare food or have a commercial kitchen, different regulations apply depending on the industry.
Hygiene can be improved in the workplace by following four simple steps.
An employee could potentially be dismissed for poor hygiene practices.
However, if an employer wants to avoid an unjustified dismissal claim they have to make sure the dismissal is not harsh or unreasonable.
For instance, the hygiene issue has to be a significant disruption to the workplace and interfere with health and safety. Additionally, the employee must be offered a reasonable chance to improve themselves or address the issue.
To maintain personal hygiene in the workplace, you must keep doing the following things:
A clean desk policy sets out an employer’s expectations of the cleanliness of an employee’s desk. For instance, it can request employees pack all their documents into their drawers before leaving. Doing this is also an easy first step in maintaining basic security practices. Regularly wiping down a desk can also be stated in a clean desk policy.
The rules that follow are some suggestions for office kitchens. Commercial kitchens may follow different regulations.
Food safety and hygiene is important because it helps keep a workplace healthier, more productive and happier.
A hygienic workplace is a healthier workplace. There is less sickness, and illness spreads more slowly.
As a result, a hygienic workplace is also more productive. Less sick leave is taken by employees in hygienic workplaces.
Handling food safety properly is an important part of a hygienic workplace.