It is a fact that every industry needs to ensure that its workplaces are clean and free of bacteria and contamination. This applies to every workplace without exception. An office environment will be cleaned and sanitized daily to minimize the risks that can be posed to worker health or the product itself. In the last few years, the importance of excellent hand hygiene has been at the forefront of every employee’s mind. The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus demonstrated to the world the importance of effective sanitary routines. Comprehensive hygiene routines, such as the frequent use of alcohol-based gels to clean hands, were one of the key ways to minimize the spread of the virus along with other forms of bacteria that can lead to illness. This article explores three reasons why good workplace hygiene is important for staff, employers and consumers.
Reduces the Risk of Accidents
It is recognized that a clean and sanitized workplace can also help to reduce the risk of accidents occurring. For example, cluttered working environments can lead to an increased risk of slips, trips, or falls in the workplace. Wet floors can often be a prime cause of accidents at work. It is estimated that 55% of all slip and fall accidents around the world are caused by wet or uneven floor surfaces. Whilst many of these accidents will result in minor injuries, they can often lead to employees needing time off from work to allow recovery to take place. This has a direct financial implication for business owners, as they may need to employ temporary staff to deal with the workloads of absent staff who are recovering from injury.
Safeguard Against Bacteria
A fully sanitized working environment is protected as far as possible from the threats to human health that are posed by bacteria. Bacteria are invisible to the naked eye but there can be millions of bacteria on unclean surfaces. If they can infect an employee, they can then be spread from person to person via direct contact or by airborne particles that are released through coughing or sneezing. In the food industry, it is of paramount importance to protect premises and production lines from the risks posed by bacteria. If bacteria can get into food products, they may cause illness and disease when the consumer eats the product. Because of this, factories and premises that produce food products will be designed with hygiene at the forefront of their operations. Many food-producing factories will use sanitary piping to move food ingredients around the factory. These are often made from materials such as stainless steel which are easy to clean and are not subject to corrosion.
A Legal Obligation
As a final point, it is important to recognize that employers are legally bound to provide a safe and sanitary environment for their workers. One key piece of legislation is the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which apply to UK-based businesses. This legislation states that a workplace must be kept sufficiently clean and tidy, and that dirt and debris should not be allowed to build up in the working environment. A company that does not adhere to these rules may face fines or other penalties if it is inspected and found to be in breach of these regulations.