Logo of Hand Hygiene at Work website, with tagline: "Evidence-based resources for workers & decision-makers"


Sign up to our mailing list and we will keep you informed about up and coming events that we will be hosting and attending.

Health, Hygiene and Precarity at Work

  • When: coming soon
  • Hosts: Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield
  • Venue: Mercure Hotel, Sheffield
  • Register: We hope to rearrange the event soon. If you would like to attend email for more information

The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of hygiene to health and has focused attention on strategies that minimise the spread of infection and protect populations from illness. Places of work, as part of conversations in protecting health, became an important factor in public and political decision making and in people’s personal working lives. Similarly, resources and strategies for ensuring health and safety at work are also being increasingly discussed (e.g. PPE, ventilation, physical distancing, hand sanitiser, toilet access). However, despite such conversations, inequalities and barriers persist across the workplace and across workforces when it comes to hygiene at work. This event seeks to bring together developing research projects and interests from across the Faculty of Social Sciences to ask how we understand hygiene ‘at work’ and what it means for different workers. By exploring the umbrella of ‘hygiene’, we ask what are the everyday practices and policies ‘at work’, and how we might unpick these and work to improve them for workers. We are interested in, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • Provision, exclusions and access to facilities (e.g. handwashing, showers, uniform, toilets, sanitising stations, PPE)
  • Bargaining agendas for hygiene and health at work
  • Policies and agendas for workers protecting hygiene and health
  • Changing environments and infrastructures of hygiene provision
  • Conditions, solidarities and care for workers’ hygiene and health
  • Information, knowledge and systems supporting or prohibiting hygiene and health
  • Technological systems and platforms and their relationship with hygiene and health
  • National and international contexts and comparisons of hygiene at work
  • The relationship between workplace precarity and access to hygiene

The aim for the day is to present findings, explore research interests and campaign priorities, to work together and set collective agendas for the next stages of the research. This event is being organised by Dr Lauren White (iHuman/Education), Dr Andrew Madden (Information School), Dr Sophie Rutter (Information School), Dr Katy Fox-Hodess (Centre for Decent Work, Management School) and Prof Kirsty Newsome (Centre for Decent Work, Management School) and Dr Andrew Smith (Centre for Decent Work, Management School). 

The Organisers wish to acknowledge the support of the Centre for Decent Work, Sheffield University Management School in hosting this event.

Please contact Lauren White ( if you are interested in attending and have any access requirements or questions.