11 min read


Last updated October 2023

This chapter explains what you can do to minimise the risk of disease by creating and maintaining a hygienic workplace.

Why is it important to keep your workplace hygienic?

Poor hygiene is a health and safety risk to anyone who works near others due to the risk of spreading disease. Hygiene is therefore important to minimise the risk of contamination and prevent the spread of infection.

Important: You must ensure that:
- your workplace is clean; and
- your workers follow good hygiene practices.
Tip: A workplace hygiene policy can be an effective tool to ensure workers understand the hygiene requirements in your business. Ensure all workers are made aware of the policy, and keep a record of any training or instruction provided. Click here for a template policy.

Case Law: Eng v Goodman Fielder Limited (2011)

In Eng v Goodman Fielder Limited (2011), a truck driver was caught urinating outside his employer’s workplace, only 100 metres away from the workplace toilet. He claimed that he had a medical condition that meant it was not possible to get to the toilet in time.

He was dismissed on the basis that the workplace hygiene policy required workers to use the workplace toilet facilities and to wash their hands afterwards.

However, the worker was found to have been harshly dismissed because he was not aware of the policy.