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Clean Workplace Legislation – What You Need To Know

Under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and more specifically The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, employers have a responsibility to ensure that the workplace is kept sufficiently clean and tidy.  Dirt and refuse should not be allowed to accumulate and any deposits or spillages should be removed and cleaned as soon as possible.  The 1992 regulations specifically mention that high standards of cleanliness may be essential to control exposure to infections and substances hazardous to health in laboratory environments and to ensure hygiene in food handling or processing.  They also specifically provide for the maintenance of floors and traffic routes – these should be kept clean and free from obstruction or spillages.  You should make sure that sufficient and regular cleaning procedures are implemented with regard to the environment and the type of work taking place on premises.  These cleaning procedures should not place the health and safety of the staff carrying them out or anybody else at risk (i.e. suitable protective gear should be worn to prevent exposure to potentially harmful cleaning agents and mopped floors sufficiently signed as wet to prevent slips).

Tips on Keeping Your Workplace Clean

Ensuring a clean and tidy workplace is in everyone’s interest, employers, employees and public alike.

  • Make sure the cleaning process is regular – it’s generally easier to maintain cleanliness rather than returning to it!
  • Use the right cleaning products for the application
  • Make sure everyone is on board – encourage staff to clean up after themselves and report any lapses in cleanliness
  • Ensure you have a sufficient waste management policy and that staff are aware of it
  • Put up hygiene information signs and implement measures and provide facilities for encouraging good hygiene amongst staff