Maintaining hygiene compliance is now a critical part of your employee safety plan.

By: Jill Henry, industrial segment leader at Essity, a leading global hygiene and health company

The pandemic has had a significant impact on global supply chains and manufacturing operations. It’s also introduced new challenges and considerations for manufacturers, particularly for those whose roles cannot be carried out virtually.

The concept of health and hygiene in the workplace has changed dramatically. To uphold the safety and wellbeing of staff, facility managers must meet heightened levels of hygiene standards.

As we all seek to secure these new standards, rigorous hand hygiene protocols, more frequent staff training, and updated cleaning and disinfecting procedures are paramount.

Based on Essity’s own practices and experiences across its own manufacturing facilities, here are a few ways to elevate your hygiene standards to prioritize the health and wellbeing of your teams.

Training Your Workforce

First, it’s critical to maintain transparent communication with employees to ensure all staff are familiar with protocols and procedures across your facility. Your policies are only effective if employees carry out these protocols. Conduct training sessions to staff to explain the new measures you have introduced and clearly establish the expectations of all employees. These trainings should also outline procedures for how employees and management can introduce contact tracing or other safety measures when dealing with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Hygiene Stations

While hygiene compliance has always been an important component for any facility’s safety plan, site operators now have an added level of responsibility when it comes to employee health. Dedicated hygiene stations can greatly improve hygiene compliance throughout your facility. Each of these zones should have easy-to-access supplies for maintenance tasks, as well as surface cleaning and hand hygiene solutions. Placing wiper dispensers nearby will encourage regular surface cleaning of high-touch areas.

To avoid potential transmission, employees should also have access to individual tools and materials. Individual portable wiper solutions packaged in a box or bucket are easy to transport to the point of use and can be assigned to one employee to mitigate contamination.

Increased Cleaning

Encourage employees to clean and disinfect high-use touch points, including tables, chairs, human and machine interface (HMIs), and keyboards, in communal areas before and after use. To effectively monitor sanitization, create a surface cleaning checklist for employees to execute during shift changes. The checklist should include key surface areas, as well as guidelines for how to properly disinfect these identified areas. Employees should have easy access to cleaning solutions to ensure they are able to adhere to these practices.

Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol should be effective to disinfect and clean surfaces.
Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol should be effective to disinfect and clean surfaces.

Signage can serve as a powerful reminder to reinforce the ongoing education of hygiene practices. Visual cues in workstations and high-traffic areas are a proven way to improve hygiene compliance. It’s important to continually update signage to ensure employees are attentive and hand hygiene remains top of mind by utilizing fresh messaging. Look for free tools and resources available online to help kick-start your signage program.

Tork Clean Care for Manufacturing is an online resource that offers deeper insights and resources for facilities looking to navigate the latest safety and hygiene considerations.

As manufacturers, we are under immense pressure. Now more than ever, it is important that we work together to safely and responsibly maintain a stable supply chain that fulfills the needs of our communities, all while prioritizing the health and wellbeing of employees.

jill henry essity
Jill Henry