Cleaning, hygiene and handwashing to reduce coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission

Latest advice on keeping workplaces safe from COVID-19

This page is up to date with working safely guidance in England. There are different regulations and guidance to follow for ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

The latest advice on continuing to keep workplaces safe will help you assess the risks and reduce COVID-19 transmission. This includes links to advice from public health bodies and other government departments on measures not implemented by HSE, such as vaccination and testing.

2. Handwashing and using hand sanitiser

Consider using signs and posters to help your workers practise good handwashing technique and to remind them to catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue or the crook of their arm and avoid touching their faces.


  • handwashing facilities with running water, soap and paper towels or hand dryers
  • hand sanitiser in areas where people are unable to wash their hands, such as sanitising stations in shops
  • hand sanitiser nearby for people getting in and out of vehicles or handling deliveries, if they are unable to wash their hands
  • information on how to wash your hands from NHS.UK

Additional handwashing facilities

When completing your risk assessment, consider if you need to provide additional handwashing facilities so that people can wash their hands frequently.

Consider how often people should wash their hands, depending on where they work and how much contact they have with others.

This will also help you to decide if and where you need to provide additional washing facilities.

If you cannot provide additional handwashing facilities, you may need to provide hand sanitiser instead near to frequently used areas.

When you complete your risk assessment, think about:

  • providing handwashing facilities at entry/exit points so people can wash their hands when they arrive and leave work – if this is not possible, provide hand sanitiser
  • where to have extra handwashing facilities so people can wash their hands frequently
  • making sure your handwashing facilities have running water, soap and paper towels or hand dryers
  • identifying where extra hand sanitiser points are needed in addition to washing facilities

We review and update this page regularly to reflect any changes in guidance.

Page last reviewed: 30 November 2021

Next review due: 31 December 2021

Updated 2021-11-30