This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 15.1c Explain how their own health or hygiene might pose a risk to the individuals they support or work with (Care Certificate, Standard 15: Infection prevention and control)
- 4.5 Demonstrate ways to ensure that own health and hygiene do not pose a risk to others at work (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Health, safety and wellbeing in care settings)
- 4.5 Demonstrate ways to ensure that own health and hygiene do not pose a risk to an individual or to others at work. (Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, Promote health, safety and wellbeing in care settings)
NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.
You can reduce the risk of infection to the individuals that you care for and others in your workplace by maintaining a high standard of personal health and hygiene.
You should be in good health when at work, which means not coming to work if you are sick because you could pass the infection on to others. If you are unwell you should contact your manager as soon as possible so that they can arrange cover. If you have diarrhoea or vomiting, you should inform your manager that you will not be coming to work and not return to work until 48 hours after the symptoms have ended.
You should also be physically able to perform the tasks that your role requires as well as be in a fit mental state. Any cuts should be dressed with waterproof plasters. This ensures that you do not pose a risk to the individuals that you are caring for.
You should wash your hands regularly and use the correct technique to ensure pathogens are not passed between individuals via your hands. Nails should be kept short to prevent scratching the individuals that you work with and nail varnish and nail extensions should be avoided. You should moisturise regularly to dried skin becoming cracked.
You should ensure that you wear suitable clothing and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by your employer. You should also ensure that you follow your employer’s agreed ways of working.
Clothes should be changed daily and you should also bathe or shower regularly and wash your hair.
You should also try to maintain good habits, such as avoiding hand contact with your face, especially nail-biting.