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Personal Hygiene in the Workplace

Good personal hygiene is important within work and in your day-to-day life.  In this section we will look at what this means and how you can look after your own hygiene.

What is Personal Hygiene?

Undertaking good personal hygiene is the act of looking after and maintaining your body in order to be clean and presentable for the workplace.  In most jobs, you work with other people and it is important you practise good personal hygiene in order to make the working environment as enjoyable as possible for everyone.  Good presentation also promotes a professional image and can help improve your own self-confidence and self-respect.  

This YouTube video gives a bit more information on good grooming and personal hygiene.


Managing your Personal Hygiene

There are several ways you can look after your own personal hygiene, we cover the basics below and give tips on how to be clean and presentable.

Wash daily

Shower or bath every day and use soap or a body wash to make sure you are clean and to remove germs from your body.  After you have washed, apply deodorant in order to stop any body odours from developing.  If you perspire easily, think about techniques to manage this during the day, especially if you work in a warm environment - e.g. bringing wipes and deodorant with you to work, or fresh clothing. 

Have clean hair

Wash your hair regularly with shampoo and ensure you brush it at least once a day to ensure it is kept neat and tidy.  If you work in the hospitality industry or around food/drink, make sure your hair is tied up and wear a hair net if necessary.

If you have a beard, make sure it is maintained and clean.  If you work with food/drink, it may also be necessary to wear a hair net over your beard.

Wear clean clothing

Make sure you wash your clothing regularly and wear fresh, clean clothes to work each day.  Make sure your clothes are presentable, this means they should be ironed and free from holes wherever possible.  Crumpled, old and smelly clothes are never welcomed in the workplace! 

Keep your nails clean

Make sure your nails are clean and kept tidily cut.  It is important that you always wash your hands after you have visited the toilet, and regularly throughout the day. There are a number of work environments where you should not wear nail polish or jewellery (such as in kitchens and hospitals), so make sure you know your company's policies.  

Oral hygiene

Brush your teeth every morning as part of your daily grooming routine to help reduce the risk of tooth decay, oral diseases and bad breath.  You should use a good toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, making sure you brush for at least 2 minutes, making sure you reach all surfaces of all teeth.  

Using dental floss or interdental sticks to clean between the teeth and a good mouthwash after brushing can help reduce the risk of decay and gum disease.  

Ensure you visit your dentist regularly for a check up as well. 


Personal Hygiene at Work

All employers will expect their employees to maintain a good level of basic personal hygiene, as described above.  Depending on your job, you may be asked to meet other hygiene standards on top of these basics.  Here is an example of what might be expected for someone working in a food preparation environment.


And finally...

Shopping for personal care items, such as toothpaste and sanitary products, buying new clothes or having your hair cut regularly can be expensive.  If you are struggling to budget and manage your personal hygiene effectively to enable yourself to meet basic personal hygiene standards, please speak to your Employment Coordinator. 

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