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All workplace environments need to be hygienic and safe for employees and visitors, even those which are not involved in the production and handling of food and personal products. Implementing a workplace hygiene policy is an effective way to ensure that all employees follow the same standards. Below are some key areas your workplace hygiene policy should address.
1. Personal hygiene.
Personal hygiene refers to the cleanliness, appearance and habits of employees, which can occasionally be a sensitive issue for managers and business owners. An official policy helps to ease any awkwardness by establishing precisely what is expected from employees. 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.
2. Work area cleanliness.
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 to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination. Policies typically also include keeping the area tidy and free of clutter.
3. Restroom facilities.
The workplace hygiene policies and requirements should provide restrooms for all employees to be equipped with hot and cold running water, hand soap, toilet paper and hand drying towels or equipment. This is to ensure that workers have the opportunity 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.
Hygiene policies for the kitchen area in a workplace environment need to cover regular cleaning and maintenance of utensils and equipment. 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.
Encourage employees to take personal responsibility to protect themselves and to practice good hygiene. Download Employsure’s free hand washing poster to distribute around your workplace.
As Australia’s leading workplace specialists, Employsure is a proud supporter of National SafeWork Month this October. Mysafeworkplace.com.au hosted by Employsure offers free workplace safety training events and webinars for employers nationwide. Attendees at events and webinars go into the draw to win a SafeCheck review worth $750.