Importance Of Workplace Hygiene and Sanitisation Post-COVID-19
Importance Of Workplace Hygiene and Sanitisation Post-COVID-19
As the world moves towards endemic living post-COVID-19, many countries have begun to ease restrictions and return to some degree of normalcy with the help of widespread vaccination. However, the situation is still changing as new variants of the virus emerge, and governments are closely monitoring the situation and adapting their response accordingly. The same applies to workplace hygiene management by companies and organisations in Singapore.
COVID-19 Infections at the Workplace in Singapore
During the peak of the pandemic in Singapore, several office COVID-19 infections were reported.
For instance, in March 2021, multiple employees in a central business district office building tested positive for COVID-19. In response, the building was shut down for deep cleaning and disinfection, while employees were asked to work remotely as contact tracing was conducted.
Similarly, in May 2021, an employee at a government agency office tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the closure of the office for deep cleaning and disinfection as a precaution, despite the employee not having visited the office for several days before the positive test.
A cluster of COVID-19 cases was reported at a call center office in June 2021, linked to a single asymptomatic employee who had transmitted the virus to several colleagues. The office was closed for deep cleaning and disinfection, and employees were asked to work from home while contact tracing was carried out.
In December 2021, a technology company’s office in Singapore reported multiple COVID-19 cases among its employees. The company promptly implemented remote working and increased cleaning measures, closely monitoring the situation.
As more people get vaccinated, some companies have started to bring employees back to the office, with many still working remotely or adopting a hybrid arrangement. Employers are also implementing new safety measures such as temperature checks, face mask requirements, and increased cleaning protocols.
Overall, the post-COVID workplace is still evolving, and many companies are still figuring out how to best operate in this new environment.
Workplace Hygiene & Sanitation Issues
Hygiene and sanitation issues at a workplace or commercial property can include employees’ poor personal hygiene practices, inadequate personal hygiene facilities, and lack of cleanliness in common areas.
Some examples of hygiene and sanitation issues at a commercial property include:
- Insufficient or dirty bathrooms
- Lack of hand sanitiser or wipes in common areas
- Poorly maintained or dirty break rooms
- Lack of proper ventilation
- Dirty or cluttered common areas such as lobbies, hallways, elevators, and stairwells
- Unsanitised surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and elevator buttons
- Pest infestations, such as cockroaches, rats, and mice
- Strong unpleasant odours
- Lack of proper waste management and disposal
Poor hygiene can lead to the spread of germs and illnesses and can also create a negative impression among employees, visitors and customers.
Maintaining a hygienic environment is crucial for any commercial property, which is why the organisation must take necessary steps to address hygiene issues. This involves implementing cleanliness standards and enforcing them strictly, as well as ensuring that sufficient cleaning supplies are available.
Additionally, encouraging good hygiene practices among employees and customers is crucial in maintaining a clean and healthy commercial property. This includes promoting regular hand washing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and keeping work areas tidy. By reminding everyone to practice good hygiene, the organization can help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria, and promote a safe and healthy environment.
There should also be a proper maintenance schedule and regular inspections to identify and resolve any issues as soon as possible.
How to Manage Workplace Hygiene
Maintaining hygiene and sanitation at the workplace requires regular cleaning, enforcing personal hygiene standards, and providing adequate facilities and supplies for personal hygiene. Here are some steps that can be taken to maintain hygiene and sanitation at the workplace:
Establish And Enforce Cleanliness Standards
Set clear standards for cleanliness and sanitation, and ensure that all employees are aware of these standards and understand their responsibilities.
Regular Cleaning and Disinfection
Develop a regular cleaning schedule for all common areas, such as bathrooms, break rooms, and shared spaces. Use appropriate cleaning products and procedures to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Encourage employees to practice good personal hygiene, such as washing their hands regularly, covering their mouths and noses when they cough or sneeze, and keeping their work areas clean. Provide hand sanitisers and wipes in common areas and encourage employees to use them regularly.
Adequate Facilities And Supplies
Ensure that there are adequate facilities for personal hygiene, such as bathrooms, and that they are kept clean and well-stocked with supplies. Provide adequate ventilation to keep the air fresh and clean.
Implement proper waste management and disposal procedures to keep the workplace clean and free from unpleasant odours.
Pest control is a critical aspect of maintaining a clean and healthy environment in commercial properties. Regular inspection for pest infestations, such as cockroaches, rats, and mice, is essential to prevent them from spreading diseases and causing damage to the property.
Regular inspections are an essential part of maintaining a safe and healthy workplace environment. Conducting inspections helps to identify potential issues before they become significant problems that could pose a risk to employees or visitors.
Provide regular training and education to employees on the importance of hygiene and sanitation and their role in maintaining a healthy and safe workplace.
Communicate and Be Transparent
Communicate any changes, updates or concerns to the employees and be transparent with them.
By implementing these steps, it will be possible to maintain a clean, hygienic, and healthy workplace, which will not only promote employees’ well-being but also help avoid any potential health hazards and legal liability.
Engage a Professional Cleaning Company
One essential component of workplace hygiene and sanitation is engaging a professional cleaning company to clean, disinfect and sanitise your office, factory, or commercial building.
A professional cleaning company will have the capability, resources, know-how and experience to assess your cleaning and sanitation needs. Subsequently, they can provide a quotation and cleaning schedule based on your specific requirements. This can also be arranged if you have a factory that requires a one-time high-dusting and floor-scrubbing cleaning project.
Check out our article “5 Things to Look for in a Commercial Cleaning Company in Singapore” on choosing the right vendor for your hygiene management needs.