Cleaning Hazards, Risks and Solutions

If you have your own cleaning personnel you are responsible for managing work hazards and training employees in the safety problems they may face in their cleaning work.

Health and safety issuing including workplace hazards are the cause of numerous accidents and injuries in the workplace.

Here are some common hazards cleaners may encounter, the risks involved and possible solutions to avoid injury.

Vulnerability: Damaged electrical cords on vacuum cleaners, floor polishers and other cleaning machinery.

Result: Electric shocks, burns; possibly death.

Solution: Employ a qualified, licensed electrical contractor to fix damaged or faulty cords.

Inspect and maintain equipment regularly.

Vulnerability:  Walking on slippery floors after mopping.

Result: Slips, trips and falls.

Solution: Use auto-scrubbers.

Use barricades to separate people from wet areas.

Use portable signs to warn people.

Vulnerability:  Lifting heavy cartons/equipment.

Result: Permanent damage to the back, muscles and ligaments.

Solution: Use a trolley to move heavy items.

Ask other cleaning team members to help you lift heavy items.

Get training in safe work practices and lifting techniques.

Vulnerability:  Sharp objects, particularly needles hidden in bins.

Result: Cuts and serious infections such as Hepatitis B, C and HIV.

Solution: Use garbage bags made of tough canvas instead of plastic.

Carry all plastic garbage bags in trolleys, not by hand.

Get training in the safe handling of sharps.

Vulnerability:  Using chemicals and hazardous substances.

Result: Skin irritation, chemical poisoning and/or burns, occupational asthma and diseases such as cancer.

Solution: Ensure all chemicals hazardous substances are correctly labeled.

Provide a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for every chemical and hazardous substance.

Ensure appropriate training is provided in the safe handling, use and disposal of chemicals and hazardous substances.

Use appropriate personal protective equipment at all times.

The Importance of Health and Safety Training for your Cleaners

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