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Keep your workplace facilities hygienic by remembering these two essential requirements ...

by , 02 July 2013
The Facilities Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act has specific legal requirements for sanitation in your workplace. One of these is that your company must have clean and functional working facilities. Here are two steps you can use to implement an ongoing hygiene programme in your company.

Ensuring that your workplace facilities are hygienic is your legal duty since you're responsible for your employees' health and safety in the workplace.
This means you must 'regularly inspect your hygiene facilities to make sure the right standards are maintained,' says the Health and Safety Advisor.
Your inspection must include areas like toilets kitchens, canteens and cafeterias.
Once you've identified the areas where control is lacking, implement a programme to rectify these weaknesses as quickly as possible.
These two steps will take you through the finer details of what you must do to keep your facilities hygienic.


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Use these two steps to keep you workplace facilities clean
#1: Upgrade your toilets
  • Clean the walls, doors and windows of all toilets and repair or repaint if necessary.
  • Deep clean the drainage systems, identify and mark the cleaning eyes (the little screw cap that can be removed to enable the inside of the drainage pipes to be cleaned) so that blockages can easily be rectified. Ensure the necessary equipment to do this is available.
  • Clean toilet bowls and seats and ensure they aren't damaged.
  • Clean toilet floors and urinals and disinfect regularly.
  • Clean up wash-basins and ensure there's enough soap.
  • Check hand drying facilities like disposable paper towels or clean towels and make sure they're always functional and available.
  • Check the disposal bins are used and emptied regularly.
  • Check that toilet roll dispensers are available, used and replenished regularly.
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#2: Upgrade your cafeteria and kitchen
  • Clean floors, counters, tables and chairs.
  • Make sure all those using the facilities keep their eating areas clean.
  • Check water dispensers and vending machines for sanitary conditions and safe positioning and operation.
  • Check facilities for staff to keep clean like washing facilities, disposable paper towels or clean towels, disposable caps, aprons and overalls.
  • Check for leak-proof refuse bins with lids and arrange for the refuse to be removed regularly.
  • Check first aid facilities and equipment together with trained first aider in kitchen facility.
  • Make sure there are enough of the right sized fire extinguishers and that they're all serviced and in good working condition.
  • Check if portable electric equipment is in good condition, properly earthed polarity correct and inspected regularly.
  • Make sure your crockery is dried hygienically. 'Crockery must be dried after washing, with a clean cloth or hot air. Don't leave crockery to dry by itself because this allows germs to settle on the wet crockery,' says the Advisor.
Use these tips to implement an ongoing hygiene programme that'll help you keep your workplace facilities compliant.

Turn to chapter W03 of your Health and Safety Advisor to read more about how you can conduct regular inspections for your workplace facilities.


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