Sanitation Issues in the Workplace

There are numerous potential sanitation issues in the workplace.
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Sanitation issues are a major concern in many workplaces because they contribute to health problems among employees, customers and others. Sanitation issues can also reduce productivity in many organizations. Sanitation not only involves clean working environments and food handling, but also drinking water and personal hygiene.

Food Handling

    Food sanitation is a major issue in workplaces such as restaurants and grocery stores. Employees in some restaurants and groceries do not wash their hands properly before handling food. This is a particular problem during busy times because employees often skip proper sanitation practices in an effort to serve as many customers as possible. They might not wash their hands as often as they should when handling food. Food storage is another issue in such workplaces. In some cases, food is stored or placed near toxic substances or waste containers. This is a hazardous practice that enhances the spread of germs. Restaurants and grocery stores also face regulatory issues when they don't practice proper sanitation. These issues can range from low sanitation scores that must be displayed publicly to fines or even the suspension of their business licenses until the issues are fixed.

Bathroom Hygiene

    Washrooms are among the most sensitive areas in any workplace when it comes to sanitation. Washroom hygiene is a sanitation issue because many people don't clean properly. For example, they might not wash their hands after using the bathroom. When they return to work and touch common surfaces such as desks, tables and computer keyboards, they enhance the spread of germs. Some people stain toilet seats and leave without cleaning up their mess, which causes pungent smells and can also enhance the spread of germs. Some organizations also take too long to repair and replace worn out pipes that cause toilet leaks on bathroom floors.

Cleaning Time

    Busy workplaces are often susceptible to sanitation issues because their staffs do not allocate enough cleaning time. They might not wipe down their keyboards or work surfaces properly, or they might leave raw garbage in trash bins for long periods of time. Dust is also an issue in workplaces because many employees do not take the time to dust their work areas regularly, or because the company does not hire cleaning services to periodically vacuum or dust the work site. Increased dust is harmful because it causes bronchial problems for some employees.


    Proper sanitation is important in all workplaces because it can affect morale and productivity. For example, flu outbreaks are more likely where workers do not practice proper sanitation because they are more susceptible to the spread of germs. When too many workers are out sick, productivity suffers. Employees can also get negative attitudes about their jobs when they are forced to work in dirty, unsanitary conditions. Companies should encourage personal hygiene among their employees and also hire skilled cleaning personnel to improve workplace hygiene. Employers should also do regular repairs and checkups on bathroom facilities to address sanitation issues.

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