Despite the laws on hygiene, there are still a large number of businesses in New Zealand that are not abiding by the rules set by the government. As a result, the country has seen a large number of campaigns that have been educating people in the country on proper hygiene as well as encouraging employees to inform on those businesses that are not providing hygienic washrooms, bathrooms, or kitchen spaces.
health.govt.nz has dedicated an entire website to the campaign with numerous guides. The subjects that they create awareness on also include the spread of viruses through coughing and sneezing. Now a contributing factor to catching a cold or the flu is a weak or overworked immune system.
Unhealthy workplace environments can contribute to breaking down people’s immune systems. For example, construction or tollway workers find it hard to avoid certain elements that cause respiratory infections.
That being said, there are still ways to decrease the risks via the provision of proper equipment. In nearly all industries such as these, the law requires the employer to provide such equipment, but it is not exactly clear whether they have to do so if someone is being employed as a contractor, i.e. a self-employed individual that has contracted their sole trading services to the employer.
Another area the website covers is the need to understand how to wash your hands properly, and to do so regularly. The one big issue here is that some companies do not have soap dispensers and instead they just provide a bar of soap in the bathroom area. This is not ideal if several people are using the same bar of soap.
Hand dryers are another issue that is often brought up. Using a towel hung up on a door isn’t hygienic at all. Those that do not wash their hand correctly are just spreading germs onto the towel, which in turn affects those that did wash their hands correctly but use the same towel. It is counterproductive.
Companies such as Prosan have a selection of products such as throw away paper towels, soap dispensers, a range of Dyson hand dryers and a large list of other products that are aimed specifically at companies that should be more or already are responsible when it comes staff hygiene.
Good Hygiene Means Less Sick Days for Staff
One point well worth noting for those employers that skim on the essential hygiene necessities that they should be providing is their lack of awareness could be contributing to more staff sick days.
By law, New Zealanders are allowed a certain number of sick days. As a result, this means the company is paying for people to have sick days off. The companies that lack hygiene could theoretically contribute to sick days.
Another Great Website That Explains Why Hygiene is Important
Just across New Zealand Australian website called alsco.com.au released an article in 2017 that explained how having a hygienic work environment will also contribute to increased productivity. A clean workplace means happier employees, which stands to reason why the employees would be more productive.
Put yourself in the same position. Have you worked in an unhealthy environment? Then suddenly changed jobs and the place is much cleaner to work in. If you have, then you may relate to or agree with the article on the Alsco.com.au website.
The article also explains how it gives the company a much better image as well as healthier employees while preventing the spread of bacteria around the workplace.
This leads back to the previous section where we made the point that good hygiene will mean less sick days as a result of the reduction of viruses being passed around the workspace.
Much like Prosan, Alsco company also helps businesses solve hygiene issues within their business. There are a number of solutions such as workwear, mats for wet areas, first aid kits, and even training sessions offered.
Hygiene Does Not Need to Be Complicated
It is a simple matter of asking employees what needs to be improved. Surveys are perfect for this, and any human resources department can get this organized. Furthermore, a simple audit using common-sense can easily help anyone identify areas that need hygiene upgrades.
Also, there are some less obvious changes that can be made, which is exactly why we have seen a rise in websites providing people and businesses with guides to lift hygiene awareness.