Workers can be exposed to germs, infections and infestation in a number of ways, depending on the nature of the work. A common way for infections to be transmitted is through poor hygiene practices.
What can you do?
First you must always eliminate the risk where you’re reasonably able to. Where you’re not reasonably able to, then you need to consider what you can do to minimise the risk.
Apart from the general hygienic practice, workers should adopt basic infection control measures. Here are some examples to consider:
- Have an infection control plan.
- Provide clean hand washing facilities.
- Offer waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizers when regular facilities are not available.
- Clean surfaces at least daily.
- Frequently touched area such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs should be cleaned more often subject to the frequency of use.
- Regular pest control should be carried out.
- Undertake worker health monitoring.
- Making sure ventilation systems are working properly.
- Provide personal protective equipment like gloves and face masks where necessary.
You need to select the most effective controls that are proportionate to the risk, and appropriate to your work situation.
This guidance is provided by WorkSafe in New Zealand.