Personal Cleanliness and Basic Sanitation Practices

man walking into porta potty
To help keep yourself healthy when working in the fields, follow the following practices:

  • Wear long sleeve shirts, pants, hat, socks and shoes or boots, and gloves if necessary.
  • Wear clean clothes to work every day.
  • Wash your work clothes with detergent and hot water before wearing them again.
  • Wash work clothes separately from the family laundry.

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly before eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing tobacco.
  • Always wash your hands before and after using the bathroom.
  • Shower at the end of the day and put on clean clothes.

People eating

  • Eat away from the field or chemical storage areas.
  • Check with your supervisor to make sure it is safe before eating anything from the field.
  • Always wash fruits and vegetables from the field with drinkable (potable) water thoroughly before eating them.

people eating by field
Hand cleaning food
  • Drink only from designated water containers or faucets.
  • Never drink water from irrigation canals, pipes, or irrigation equipment. The water could have chemicals in it.
  • Don’t share drinking cups or glasses. This can cause the spread of tuberculosis, infectious hepatitis, flu, cough, colds, etc.

hand getting water from jug
person screaming "No!"
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after using the bathroom to avoid serious irritations to sensitive personal/genital areas.
  • Use the bathroom as often as necessary. Holding urine for long periods of time can lead to bladder or urinary tract infections.

hands being washied in sink

You will reduce your risk of getting ill in the field by following all these practices.

Safety and Awareness Training for Agricultural Workers
UC Agricultural Health and Safety Center
and Agricultural Promotion System
NIOSH Cooperative Agreements
U05/CCU906055 and 90605501
Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences
University of California, Davis, CA 95616

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More