Hygiene and health in the workplace
Does taking into account the hygiene and health needs of your employees contributes to well-being and quality of life at work? Are the hygiene and occupational health conditions of your employees direct factors in improving productivity and therefore performance?
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THE HEALTH OF ITS EMPLOYEES AND THUS OF ITS CUSTOMERS?
Indispensable to the proper functioning of companies, employees embody their values, culture and success. To succeed, grow and develop, a business can only count on them. The more employees work in good conditions with equipment adapted to their skills and appetites, the more they will be involved, motivated and productive. Taking care of its employees therefore also means directly taking care of its customers.
Emotions guide the lives of employees. Whether expressed or repressed, they leave a mark on everyday life. In business, emotions are everywhere. They are natural reactions to stress, to pressure, to expressed and felt values.
This emotional factor is unique to everyone. However, the layout of workspaces and the improvement of health and hygiene conditions at work play an important role in these emotions. The more an employee feels good in his position, the more he will perform. Here are some impacting levers:
- Make the most of natural light at the workstation.
- Optimize space to reduce ambient noise.
- Improve the daily life of social premises by implementing drying and disinfection solutions
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EMPLOYER
According to article R4228-1 of the french Labor Code, the employer must make available to his employees "the means to ensure their individual cleanliness". He must therefore put in place the necessary equipment so that his employees can evolve in a healthy working environment and carry out their daily tasks. The employer's responsibility for occupational hygiene is to set up several facilities; the latter are closely framed by legislation.
These devices are not to be taken lightly, especially when we know that according to a study carried out by Rentokil Initial, the world leader in corporate cleaning, French employees would be 59% to think that better hygiene at work would improve their job satisfaction.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PERSONAL PROTECTION AND EQUIPMENT HYGIENE?
The conditions for making PPE available by the employer are provided for by the french Labor Code:
- Free supply (PPE not considered as benefits in kind).
- Provision of means to ensure the hygienic condition of PPE (for example devices for washing, drying and disinfecting boots, gloves, helmets, etc.).
- PPE for personal use
If the nature of the PPE and the circumstances allow its use by more than one person, appropriate measures are taken to ensure that such use does not pose any health or hygiene problem to the various users. (helmets, gloves, masks etc ...)
The use of disposable solutions such as charlottes, aprons and coveralls must be prohibited in favor of sustainable solutions that respect the environment and the company's CSR commitments.
For example, protective helmets provided to visitors on a construction site can be used by several people if they are cleaned and disinfected between two uses using a drying and disinfection machine or cabinet using ozone technologies without the addition of Chemical product.
The same goes for masks, gloves, shoes and any other PPE that can be shared.
ENSURE THE WEAR OF COMPULSORY PPE: SIMPLER IF IT IS CLEAN
As a general rule, the more you respect people, the more receptive they are.
Indeed, ensuring the cleanliness and disinfection of PPE will make it easier to impose the wearing of it. This obligation will be all the better understood and applied by employees because it will be seen as a strong initiative for individual health protection at the initiative of the company.
HYGIENE AT WORK: EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS?
For a business or community, taking proper care of hygiene requires clear communication. Management may produce reports and notes on hygiene, if they are not implemented by the hierarchy as an example, it is of no use. By acting methodically and professionally, everyone contributes to hygiene.
Respect for hygiene is also linked to the correct use of disinfection solutions and the availability of sufficient equipment. Ultimate responsibility rests with management
Isolated hygiene campaigns usually have little effect. Only repeated campaigns can give good results. And these campaigns can take different forms: personalized attention, training, thematic weeks, working groups, etc. The aim is to educate people and make them aware of their hygiene responsibilities to themselves and to others.
In general, it can be said that hygiene issues and knowledge of solutions are still too little known in many companies. Although some economic sectors like the Agri-food industry, for example, have a culture of occupational hygiene inherent in their activity, clear protocols and guidelines are sometimes lacking elsewhere. We therefore plead in favor of proactive management, with awareness campaigns and monitoring in which all the cogs are involved. This is the only way to make people understand the importance of hygiene and the existence of solutions.
WHY IS HEALTH INTIMATELY LINKED TO PRODUCTIVITY AT WORK?
More and more studies (INRS, CRAM, European Agency OSHA ...) show that a healthy work environment, a good atmosphere at work, but also social spaces conducive to maintaining good health are vectors to improve employee productivity and business competitiveness.
Thus, 60% of workers feel more motivated at work when the employer takes charge of their well-being at work. We know that more motivated employees are more committed to their work and tend to be more productive on a daily basis. But it goes further since well-being at work and hygiene and health prevention programs can have direct financial benefits for an employer.
Indeed, thanks to these actions, we observe a reduction in absenteeism and sick leave by 23% as well as a fall in costs related to health problems or work accidents of employees of the order of 25%. . By acting for the well-being of their employees, an employer therefore contributes to reducing expenses and improving productivity.
In total, it has been shown that well-being and prevention programs, hygiene and health at work, by increasing employee happiness, improve employee productivity by 12% on average. For an employer, setting up well-being and preventive hygiene and occupational health programs therefore represents an investment that can prove to be profitable.
ARE ALL PARTS OF THE BODY CONCERNED WITH HEALTH ISSUES?
In general, we are all subject either by our professional activity, our leisure activities or quite simply by our own metabolism to the phenomenon of perspiration. This state, which affects all parts of the body and which characterizes every human, has the normal consequence of creating what is called "body odor".
In the modern world we live in, good hygiene and good health are subconsciously equated with “good smells”. Also it is necessary, for each PPE protecting part of the body (helmets, masks, gloves, shoes, aprons, jackets, T-shirts, diving suit, etc.) to find a hygiene solution that will guarantee drying and disinfection to avoid " bad smells ".
These disinfection needs have also been multiplied by the COVID-19 crisis, to go well beyond simple personal hygiene. Ensuring effective bacteriological and virological disinfection has become the norm.
WHAT TRADES OR SECTORS OF ACTIVITY PERSONAL EQUIPMENT MUST BE DISINFECTED?
The disinfection of PPE should in general be an action common to all professional sectors and all communities. However, there are two main families of activity,
- Those who have a regulatory obligation to disinfect their PPE
- Those that are not subject to it.
For example, all of the agri-food trades are subject to bacteriological risks.