Work hygiene: The most important things in a nutshell 

  • Work hygiene is important to avoid health hazards in the workplace and to maintain the performance of employees. 
  • Good industrial hygiene minimizes, for example, pathogens that can arise from contact with dirt, chemicals or noise. Injuries and accidents can also be avoided through good industrial hygiene.
  • Companies should evaluate, assess, review and determine the health hazards in the working environment. The goal here is to preserve the health and well-being of employees as well as society.

I would like to be contacted

The occupational hygiene factors

Chemical effects

Physical effects

Biological effects

Ergonomic effects

Psychosocial effects

Why is industrial hygiene important?

There are several reasons why industrial hygiene is important:

  1. For one thing, it serves to prevent health hazards in the workplace. For example, in certain types of work, chemicals or dirt can pose a health hazard to employees. Through good industrial hygiene, such dangers can be minimized.
  2. On the other hand, industrial hygiene helps to maintain the performance of employees. A healthy and safe working environment lets employees work more motivated and concentrated. This can improve performance and thus the efficiency of the organization.
  3. Finally, industrial hygiene is also important to prevent injuries and accidents in the workplace. A safe and hygienic working environment can help employees feel safe and comfortable.

Legal foundations of occupational hygiene

In Switzerland, there are many legal regulations in the field of occupational hygiene, which are laid down in various laws and ordinances. Central here are in particular the Labor Act (ArG) and the Work Equipment Ordinance (ArbMV).

The Labor Act is the central law on occupational health and safety in Switzerland. It sets out the basic requirements for occupational health and safety and regulates who is responsible for occupational health and safety. The Labor Act also contains regulations on occupational hygiene, for example on the cleaning and disinfection of workplaces, the ventilation of rooms and protection against noise.

The Work Equipment Ordinance sets out more detailed requirements for the furnishing and equipment of workplaces. It contains, for example, regulations on lighting, ventilation, temperature, sound insulation and the use of work equipment. There are also detailed regulations in the area of occupational hygiene in the Work Equipment Ordinance, for example on the cleaning of work equipment and the handling of dirt and pollutants.

Which companies should be concerned with occupational hygiene?

Occupational hygiene is relevant to all companies, regardless of their size or industry. Every company should be concerned with occupational hygiene.

But companies in certain industries have special occupational hygiene requirements because work in those industries may involve special health or safety risks. Examples of such industries include:

  • The chemical industry, where employees often work with hazardous chemicals.
  • Agriculture, where employees often work with dirt, chemicals, and animals.
  • The healthcare industry, where employees often come into contact with pathogens and other hazardous substances.
  • Construction and assembly operations, where employees often work in difficult environments and conditions.
  • The food processing industry: Here there are special requirements for hygienic conditions and cleaning.

Who in the company should deal with this?

In the company, both managers and employees should be concerned with industrial hygiene.

Managers must ensure that the health and safety of employees is guaranteed and that working conditions comply with legal requirements. Thus, they have the responsibility to take the necessary measures to improve occupational hygiene.

Employees should also do their part by monitoring their working conditions and health. They should also comply with hygiene regulations and take care of their personal hygiene.

Why should I devote myself to the subject?

There are many benefits when a company dedicates itself to occupational hygiene. Some of them are:

  1. Employee health and safety: Good industrial hygiene helps to ensure the health and safety of employees. By minimizing health risks in the workplace, accidents and sick days can be avoided.
  2. Increased employee performance:A healthy and safe working environment can help employees to be more motivated and focused, which in turn improves performance and thus the efficiency of the company.
  3. Cost savings:Good industrial hygiene can also help to save costs. By avoiding accidents and sick days, for example, insurance costs can be reduced.
  4. Better reputation: Companies that are dedicated to occupational hygiene often have a better reputation among the public. This can also give them advantages in terms of customer loyalty and attracting new customers.
  5. Compliance with legal requirements:When a company is dedicated to occupational hygiene, it is more likely to be able to comply with legal requirements for occupational health and safety.

What are the other advantages?

Taking care of industrial hygiene can lead to benefits in the insurance field. Some examples are:

  1. Reducing the risk of accidents:Good industrial hygiene helps to reduce the risk of accidents in the workplace. This can lead to favorable premium offers for accident insurance.
  2. Reduction of the risk of illness:Good industrial hygiene also helps to reduce the risk of illness in the workplace. Here, too, reductions in insurance premiums can occur.
  3. Lower liability risk:Companies that are dedicated to occupational hygiene generally have a lower liability risk. Cheaper premiums on the part of liability insurance can result.
  4. Lower absenteeism:Good industrial hygiene can help ensure that employees are sick less often, resulting in less absenteeism. Cheaper premiums for business interruption insurance can be a consequence.

How does SBIS support?

We support you in the assessment and reduction of occupational hygiene stress factors. For this purpose, we conduct workplace and work environment assessments including hazard analyses. If necessary, we additionally perform occupational hygiene measurements.

Also, we offer advice in finding out the causes of harmful influences and to develop appropriate protective measures. 

  • Checking compliance with workplace limits (eg climatic parameters, pollutant concentration, noise levels, illuminance)
  • Analysis and review of environmental influences (eg. Air, noise, light)
  • Workplace and work area analyses, creation of work hygiene concepts
  • Review of the effectiveness and optimization of technical protective measures (eg, suction systems)
  • Occupational disease prophylaxis
  • Optimize work processes or. Work processes, adjustments in the organization of work
  • Ergonomic advice
  • Accompaniment for conversions and new buildings in the plan approval procedure, for investments in machinery and equipment

Now make a non-binding request for industrial hygiene