Workwear consists of a top and trousers, or in some cases a dress. The sleeve must end above the elbow (SOSF 2015:10). Short sleeves are a prerequisite for performing hand hygiene correctly. Long sleeves may also contribute to the transmission of infectious agents .
- must only be worn at the workplace and during transport between workplaces
- must be changed daily and whenever contaminated (SOSFS 2015:10)
- must be washed at a minimum temperature of 60 ˚C (AFS 2018:4) in a controlled and quality-assured process
- must be handled and stored in a way that prevents contamination after washing.
Read more in the section about Tvätthantering (Laundry management) in Vårdhandboken (Handbook for Healthcare).
Long hair and beards must be pinned up to ensure that they do not hang or fall down in the work area. If a headscarf is worn, it must be visibly clean and secured to ensure that it does not come loose; any loose fabric must be tucked into the neckline .
Headwear is required at some workplaces such as surgical operating departments, sterile services departments and commercial kitchens.
Hands and forearms
Jewellery, nails and bandages
- Rings, bracelets and wristwatches must not be worn (SOSF 2015:10, AFS 2018:4).
- Nails must be kept short.
- Nails must be free of nail polish and other artificial materials (SOSF 2015:10) . Hands and forearms must be free from bandages, plasters, support splints or equivalent (SOSFS 2015:10, AFS 2018:4).
Satisfactory hand disinfection cannot be performed if the above requirements are not met. This is because infectious agents adhere to artificial materials and cannot be removed by disinfectants.
Earrings and other jewellery in healed piercings may be worn as long as they do not hang down into the work area. A healed piercing, regardless of its location, does not pose a risk of transmitting infection. An infected piercing can act as a source of infection and be transmitted by staff hands .
It is important that the skin on the hands and forearms is intact. Broken skin or eczema on the hands or forearms increase the risk of transmission of infections both to patients and to the health and social care staff with damaged skin [6,7].
If you have any broken skin or skin problems on your hands or forearms, contact your manager, who will assess what action to take.
Moisturizing cream is used to prevent dry and chapped hands. Moisturize your hands during breaks and/or at the end of your shift. Handle the product in a way that ensures that it does not become contaminated or act as a potential source of infection between staff members .
In some workplaces such as surgical operating departments, sterile services departments and commercial kitchens, there may be rules in addition to the above.