What employers should know
Key hygiene measures in companies
There is a lot that we can do to prevent the spread of sickness in the workplace. It all starts with having good hygiene practices that are followed by staff.
This article outlines the key workplace hygiene guidelines and gives tips on how to motivate your staff to observe these. We’d like to start with a reminder of the benefits of good hygiene in the workplace.
What are the benefits of good hygiene?
- Healthy and productive staff
- Fewer sick days
- Higher productivity
- More revenue and lower costs
For optimum protection
What is the difference between company hygiene and personal hygiene?
Company hygiene refers to the cleanliness of the company premises as a whole as well as of individual workstations and tools. This is the responsibility of the company’s senior management. Wherever there are a lot of people in the same space, such as in production halls and offices, there is a higher risk that germs and viruses will spread. To avoid this, we recommend putting in place the following hygiene regulations and ensuring that they are strictly observed. These three key measures for good company hygiene should be initiated by company management and implemented consistently.
Regular, thorough cleaning of all work areas is essential for good workplace hygiene. Special attention should be paid to areas used by lots of people such as toilet facilities and office kitchenettes.
Our handy checklist for optimum office cleaning helps you to set up a cleaning schedule. Remember that your production areas need to be cleaned too.
The influence of interior air quality on your employees’ health shouldn’t be underestimated. Bear in mind that germs multiply and spread faster in poorly ventilated rooms. We therefore recommend that you air out your offices several times a day by opening the windows wide for between 3 and 10 minutes.
Drinking water hygiene
Is there a drinking water installation on your premises? Just like food, water can go off and make your staff sick. For example, it may contain E. coli or Legionella bacteria. You are responsible for ensuring that your drinking water is safe for consumption at all times.
Personal hygiene refers to all steps taken by staff to keep themselves and their work clothes clean. To ensure a clean work environment, hygiene needs to be taken seriously by both management and the workforce. The following four rules must be observed by all members of staff. The company management can help in various ways, such as by putting up signs and offering training sessions.
Don’t forget to wash your hands!
Regular hand-washing with soap is the most effective way to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses. Using the right method is key.
It is also important that staff wash their hands at the right times, including:
- Before eating
- After going to the toilet
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose
- After handling hazardous substances or waste
- After contact with surfaces that could be contaminated (e.g. door handles and banisters)
How to cough and sneeze correctly
We were taught how to do this as children, but it’s still worth regularly reminding ourselves and our staff of the right way to cough and sneeze.
- Always turn away from the people you are with when you need to cough or sneeze.
- If possible, use a disposable handkerchief which you then throw away.
- Alternatively, sneeze or cough into your elbow – never into your bare hands.
- Afterwards, always wash your hands with soap or use disinfectant.
Showering and changing clothes regularly
Having clean clothes, a pleasant body odour, trimmed nails and clean hair doesn’t just make a good impression – it’s also hygienic. Bodily hygiene is particularly important in the gastronomy and food industries.
Most staff will do all this as a matter of course, but there are exceptions. It is then up to the relevant manager to take the person aside and politely let them know that they need to pay more attention to their personal hygiene.
Stay home if you are ill
If a member of staff is ill, they need to stay home. Unfortunately though, many people drag themselves to work because they feel guilty about making extra work for their colleagues, or are worried about appearing lazy. But it’s no help to anyone if they come into work and infect other people.
It is up to the company management to foster a company culture and rules that allow staff to recover from an illness at home without feeling guilty about it. For example, you could allow your staff to stay at home for a certain number of days without having to present a doctor’s note.
For more productivity in the office and a healthy interior climate.
Get more fresh, healthy air into the office without even having to open the window – all that’s required is having the right products. Our range includes everything you need for better hygiene and for getting through the cold and flu season.
How can you motivate your staff to comply with hygiene standards?
Explaining the “why”
Your staff are more likely to observe hygiene rules if they understand the reasons behind them, which may not always be obvious. Explain how poor hygiene can affect not just individuals but the company as a whole, and how everyone can do their bit to prevent the spread of disease.
2. Make it as easy as possible
New ways of behaving, such as regular hand-washing, only become a habit when they are straightforward. This means always having enough soap and paper towels in the bathrooms so that everyone can wash and dry their hands properly. If the nearest bathroom is too far away, provide hand sanitising stations so that staff can disinfect their hands regularly.
3. Regular reminders
Your company’s hygiene rules need to be easy for people to remember. Visual aids such as strategically placed posters and signs provide your employees with a constant reminder of the most important rules. You can also send out regular emails on the subject and run training sessions.
We are available to answer any questions, free of charge.