Personal hygiene is something that all workplaces should focus on, particularly during the current climate. Bosses can find it difficult to talk about personal hygiene because it can be a sensitive topic, requiring private discussions.
A good starting place for managing personal hygiene and hygiene within the workplace is to create and implement a hygiene policy. If you facilitate hygiene and cleaning, then good personal hygiene will naturally follow. You should consider:
- Regular cleaning of toilets and washbasins. Provide hot and cold water, soap or hand sanitiser, and towels for drying hands.
- Provide an area for breaks, food, and drinking away from areas where contamination of consumables is possible. Provide facilities to wash mugs, cups, and plates, provide bins for scraps, and schedule fridge checking for leftovers.
- Provide showers for emergencies and dirty work environments.
- Facilitate workstation cleaning to prevent contamination and infections from spreading.
- Provide rest facilities for nursing mothers or pregnant women.
- Provide heating or cooling to a reasonable temperature of at least 16C or 13C for physical roles, with sufficient ventilation.
Hygienic Clothing in the Workplace
Facilities for work and personal clothing aid personal hygiene. It would help if you considered providing:
- Secure lockers or hanging space for personal clothing, which is not worn during the work shift.
- Drying facilities for wet workwear, if needed.
- A changing area if specialised clothing or PPE is worn for work tasks.
- Outdoors workwear such as waterproof jackets and trousers, thermal clothing, and clothing that helps protect employees from sun exposure.
Risk Assessment and Special Considerations
A risk assessment can be useful in some circumstances to identify specific controls for hygiene. It is advantageous to provide barrier cream or skin-conditioning cream, skin cleansers, and nail brushes in some instances.
When your employees work offsite or work onsite away from your core buildings, you can consider if providing chemical toilets is appropriate.
Personal hygiene in the workplace can be a sensitive topic to raise. However, if you take the right steps to maintain high health and safety standards, personal hygiene will follow.