Although cleaning can be physically taxing, it doesn’t have to be negative for the health of your crew. As building occupants have increased expectations for cleanliness, it has never been more important to adhere to the cleaning industry’s best practices for health and safety. Thankfully, there are additional ways to lessen some of the most prevalent health and safety dangers that face cleaners.
Improvements in cleaners’ health and safety are well worth the expense because they boost morale, productivity, and retention among the workforce. Employers can lessen risks to their cleaners by reconsidering how they assign some more physically taxing activities, reviewing their policy for managing cleaning chemicals, and addressing slips, trips, and falls. You may develop a culture that values employees and fosters loyalty by prioritizing training, soliciting input on potential hazards, and providing flexible sick leave. Thankfully most of the cleaning supplies in Melbourne are primarily cleaners’ health-friendly and are readily available.
Rethink The Most Physically Demanding Tasks
According to OSHA, janitors and cleaners are at a high risk of developing musculoskeletal conditions. The health and safety of cleaners are impacted by lifting or pushing large objects, working in unpleasant body positions, and doing repeated duties. To ease the burden on your employees, you should reinvent these jobs.
Best practices for the cleaning sector might be as straightforward as switching from heavy string mops to a lightweight microfiber mop to rethink these duties. However, using automated machines to perform boring jobs like sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming is another option that is becoming more and more popular. Cleaning professionals can reduce some of the most strenuous duties and accomplish more work in the same amount of time by investing in an automated cleaning solution like Whiz, the commercial robot vacuum created in collaboration with Brain OS and ICE Robotics. This is especially important given the new cleaning culture’s raised standards for cleanliness in public settings.
Try New Chemicals With Caution.
Cleaners may use a variety of chemicals to clean and disinfect different surface types, but occasionally these chemicals can pose their own set of issues. These irritants might not always be noticeable in some situations or at low exposure levels. For instance, certain chemicals like carpet spotters cleaning powders, kitchen cleaning powders, floor cleaners, etc., can only cause respiratory issues if the area is not well ventilated. Other chemicals might only cause irritations if released in high amounts. Hand dermatitis is one of the numerous skin issues brought on by the surfactants present in many cleaning products.
An essential first step in protecting cleaners’ health and safety is using proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Another best practice in cleaning is using as few chemicals as possible. There is less chance of a chemical cocktail causing health issues if cleaning solutions can handle a variety of surfaces. The focus of “green” products, including carpet cleaner powders, floor cleaners, etc., is on all-natural solutions that can offer safer alternatives.
The material safety data sheet, available when new chemicals are introduced, gives details on the active components and signs of potential health issues that cleaners should be aware of. Before using a new cleaning product, read the label’s directions carefully. You should also abide by the EPA’s six guidelines for using disinfectants safely and effectively.
Address Slips, Trips, And Falls
Some of the most common occupational dangers are trips, slips, and falls. According to the National Safety Council, slips, trips, and falls are the second most frequent workplace injury, affecting around 24 out of every 10,000 full-time employees and resulting in 13 days lost from work on average. Injuries of this nature are widespread in the cleaning sector. There are risks associated with utilizing unmaintained stairways, walking on unclean or wet floors, and wearing out the grips on one’s footwear.
The risk of falls can result from cleaning itself, and the threat from dirty, wet flooring is considerable. Switching from wet mopping to vacuuming hard floor surfaces is one solution. There is mounting proof that vacuuming outperforms sweeping and mopping. Brooms and mops can leave behind fine dust, sometimes miss the margins of the floor, glide over tile surfaces, and sometimes leave dirt in the grout lines. In each of these scenarios, vacuuming is more efficient. Additionally, many cleaners discover that vacuuming more successfully removes dried snow and salt that would liquefy and film up beneath a mop.
On-the-job training shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Regular training increases productivity, boosts worker confidence and enhances cleaners’ health and safety. Additionally, consistent training makes expectations clear and might promote job autonomy. According to a study of workers at cleaning companies, a high workload and considerable autonomy over how the work is carried out can result in less stress than an increase in workload and little control over the job. According to Cal OSHA, efficient training gives instructions on how to handle chemicals, equipment, and PPE properly. To accommodate different learning styles, it offers knowledge in a variety of formats—consider a classroom setting, on-the-job talks, and visual aids.
Mentorships can be developed by pairing inexperienced employees with more seasoned partners who are familiar with best practices in the cleaning sector. Additionally, it gives the more seasoned cleaners a level of accountability and trust that can increase engagement. According to research, persons who mentor others report having lower anxiety levels and more fulfilling jobs than those who do not mentor.
Ask For Feedback On Job Site Risks
Asking workers for suggestions on lowering or eliminating health and safety concerns for cleaners does more than only assist you in creating a more detailed safety plan. Who, after all, is more familiar with the job site than the cleaners who spend their days there? Encouraging input on risks also helps your staff become more aware of potential dangers and more vigilant about these risks.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get this response. The authors of Crucial Conversations discovered that 93 percent of respondents thought their workgroup was presently at risk from a safety issue that was not being discussed in a study of 1,500 employees from 22 different firms. It’s crucial to actively listen before demonstrating that you will take action on employee input. It’s also crucial to provide a strong message that speaking up about potential risks or taxing responsibilities won’t result in punishment and that speaking up is encouraged in your workplace culture.
Offer A Variety Of Sick Days
Even though it is not common in the cleaning sector, having a sick leave policy that allows employees to take care of themselves when they are ill or injured is essential. You run a higher risk of an infection spreading to the rest of your team or other building occupants if you make it difficult for sick employees to stay at home. Yes, paid sick days may add up. But bear in mind that turnover costs are even more damaging to your bottom line of your cleaning supply stores. According to conservative estimates, replacing a single employee will cost anywhere from half to double that person’s annual income. Flexible sick leave regulations are a competitive perk that can aid in luring and keeping top employees.
Your greatest investment and most important resource is your workforce. Greater staff loyalty and lower turnover rates can result from lowering cleaners’ health and safety concerns. This can promote improved performance and a higher level of consistency in your clients’ value. The health and safety of your staff can significantly improve with the correct investments. Whiz is an excellent example of how to enhance employee working circumstances. Contact us immediately to learn more about how Whiz may help your team.