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How to approach personal hygiene as a safety topic

Personal hygiene should not interfere with anyone’s capacity to perform their job successfully and safely. Employees have the right to a clean and safe workplace when they arrive for work.

Every workplace has a hygiene standard that displays the organization’s beliefs. When employees practice good personal hygiene at work, it benefits:

  • encourage good health and well-being for all employees.

  • stop the transmission of disease.

  • reduce distractions and safety problems caused by inadequate hygiene and housekeeping.

  • provide a positive example for others.

  • maintain a clean, orderly, and secure environment.

  • making the workplace more enjoyable for others.

  • lessen stress caused by disagreements among employees over personal hygiene and job site cleanliness.

A safety meeting or toolbox presentation could contain personal hygiene reminders and why it’s important as part of your workplace safety program. Clothing, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleanliness, odor, hand washing, eating, and keeping common areas clean are all subjects to be discussed at the safety conference.

If you’re unsure how to address the subject or what areas to emphasize, here are some helpful tips you can share with your staff during the safety meeting.


Maintain the cleanliness and condition of your work attire. Clothing holes enhance the possibility of dangerous or contaminated substances coming into contact with your skin and causing irritation. When working around machinery, ripped or ill-fitting clothing might become a tripping danger. Before wearing dirty or soiled clothing again, wash it.

Wearing PPE that is broken, ripped, worn out, or overly unclean is not permitted. To avoid contamination, keep PPE in a clean and dry location until it is needed. Single-use PPE, such as one-time use face masks or disposable gloves, should not be reused. Do not use your bare hands to touch contaminated PPE.

Hygiene of the body

It may not concern an individual to have poor personal hygiene, but at a workplace, it might have an impact on other employees. When scents become an issue, they can impair coworkers’ ability to focus on their own tasks in the workplace.

Bathe, shower, and wash your hair on a regular basis. Bathe with soap. Use deodorant or antiperspirant on a daily basis, especially if you sweat a lot at work.

Maintain a tidy and clean hand. Wash your hands frequently. Never wipe your hands with chemicals.

Wearing too much perfume or cologne is not recommended. Some people may be allergic to the strong aroma, and it may irritate them. While at work, perfume, cologne, and scented lotions should be avoided.

Keep your dental health in check. Bad breath may be imperceptible to you, but it might be irritating to coworkers.

Every day, wear clean socks to work. Cotton socks are the most comfortable since they “breathe” and absorb moisture.

Cuts and burns must always be covered with suitable first aid dressings. To prevent infection, keep cuts, burns, and lacerations clean.

Prevention of illness

If you are ill, do not come to work. When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with your hand, a tissue, or the inside of your elbow. Afterward, always wash your hands. Immediately dispose of used tissues.

Hands should be washed with soap and water (not just water).

Always wash your hands:

  • Before and after your work shift;

  • After visiting the restroom;

  • Before and after wearing gloves;

  • If your hands become dirty or come into contact with hazardous or contaminated substances;

  • Take a tissue after sneezing;

  • Before and after eating;

  • Following any trash removal or cleanup operation;

  • After handling money;

  • After touching dirty equipment.

Cleanliness in the workplace

Maintain a clean work environment and clean up after yourself, including after using the restroom or any other communal spaces. Remove trash, clean surfaces, and pick up anything that has fallen on the floor or ground.

At the end of your work shift, throw away any garbage that has accumulated throughout the day, such as food wrappers, used paper towels or tissues, beverage containers, and so on.

Keep any food that is not in a sealed container at work. At the conclusion of each week, throw away any uneaten food that has been kept at work or in a work fridge. On a daily basis, wash reusable dishes, including cups, insulated thermos containers, and cutlery.

Use garbage cans and avoid littering. Trash cans should be emptied on a regular basis and should not be allowed to overflow. Trash should never be dumped on the floor.

After using the microwave, wipe it down. To prevent spatter, always place a paper towel, paper plate, or other cover on top of any food heated in a microwave. Notify management immediately if you observe ants, vermin, or droppings in any work or common space.