Companies always have a wide number of responsibilities, whether they’re business or people-related. They’re required to stay on top of their financial and legal requirements and to provide a safe working environment.
Maintaining a high level of hygiene is important in any business setting. Not only is it necessary to protect your employees from illness but it also preserves the well-being of your customers and visitors. in this article, we’ll discuss 6 hygiene practices that you should adopt in your company.
1. Provide Clean Uniforms or Work Clothes
Many jobs involve people wearing uniforms or special work clothes. This applies whether they’re employed in the food service, healthcare, construction, or something else. If your employees are in contact with the public, it’s important that they’re cleanly dressed. Studies confirm that if people see employees with soiled clothing this has a negative impact on sales and repeat customs. You can help ensure your employees’ clothes are always clean by providing them with on-site laundry facilities or a laundry service allowance.
You could consider having a dress code that includes only easy-to-clean fabrics like polyester and cotton blends. Another option is to provide each employee with two sets of uniforms or work clothes so they can always have a clean set to wear. You may also decide to invest in a UV shoe sanitizer that’s been clinically proven to kill up to 99.99% of infections, contaminations, and pathogens (in only 8 seconds). This ensures that unhelpful organisms deposited on floors don’t proliferate to workspaces, high touch surfaces, and other regularly touched equipment.
2. Sanitize Work Areas and Equipment Regularly
Any surface that comes into contact with employees or customers should be cleaned frequently. This includes countertops, door handles, phones, light switches, keyboards, etc. Use a disinfectant cleaner or spray and wipe down the surfaces thoroughly. You should also sanitize any shared equipment, such as printers or copiers. Provide a designated area for your staff to have snacks and meals rather than letting them eat at their desks. Keep all sinks, microwaves, fridges, etc. rigorously maintained at all times.
These regular practices will help to prevent the spread of germs and keep everyone healthy. Make sure to have a cleaning schedule in place and that all employees are aware of it. Cleaning supplies should be readily available so that everyone can pitch in and keep the workplace hygienic. If you can afford it, you may choose to employ a cleaning company to work for you daily.
3. Provide Adequate Handwashing Facilities
You might not think about it often, but how easy is it for your employees to wash their hands at work? If they don’t have adequate facilities, they may not be washing their hands as often as they should. According to the CDC, employees should wash their hands:
- Before eating or preparing food
- After using the restroom
- After coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose
- After handling garbage or cleaning up around the workplace
You can help encourage handwashing by providing soap and water in all restrooms and break rooms. You could also place hand sanitizer dispensers around the workplace for employees to use when soap and water are not readily available.
4. Promote Healthy Habits
The first step to promoting healthy habits in your company is to lead by example. If you have unhealthy practices, it’ll be difficult to encourage others to improve theirs. When someone sneezes or coughs, they release droplets into the air that can contain viruses and bacteria. To protect others, it’s important to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Encourage employees to sneeze or cough into a tissue, and make sure there are some available in all common areas.
Touching your face is one of the easiest ways to spread germs. If you touch something that’s contaminated and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you can become sick. To avoid this, remind employees to avoid touching their faces as much as possible.
5. Promote Healthy Lifestyles
Research has shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick. To promote better sleep habits, encourage employees to avoid working long hours and to take breaks during the day. As regards exercise, offer a corporate discount at a local gym or promote healthy lifestyles by organizing group activities such as walks or runs during lunchtime. Vaccinations are another way that your employees can protect themselves and others from serious illnesses. Make sure they’re up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations and encourage them to get vaccinated against seasonal illnesses like influenza.
If an employee is sick, it’s important for them to stay home. Not only will this help prevent the spread of illness, but it will also allow the employee to rest and recover. To encourage them to do so, have a policy that allows them to work from home when they’re sick. In addition, offer paid time off (PTO) so that they can take the time they need to recover without worrying about lost wages. Should an employee come to work sick, however, have a process in place for them to clean up and disinfect their work area.
6. Dispose of Garbage Properly
This means having designated areas for trash and making sure that employees put rubbish in these areas. You should provide sufficient trash cans and recycling bins for employees to use. You need to have a policy in place for dealing with food waste, hazardous materials, and confidential documents.
It’s also vital to have a means of emptying these areas regularly so that refuse doesn’t build up. If you don’t, you’ll create an unsightly and unhygienic environment. If possible, have someone responsible for waste management, to ensure that all garbage is disposed of correctly and responsibly.
If you fully implement these 6 hygiene practices in your company you’ll create a safer and healthier environment. Be sure to check the legal aspects to discover if there are any areas where you’re still uncompliant. In exchange for some time, effort, and financial investment your workplace will be cleaner and more hygienic, benefiting both your staff and the general public.