Safety, not only in the workplace but anywhere, is the most important aspect of being an employee. Keeping your safety in mind should be your main priority throughout the workday; not just because it’s the law, but because it will keep you safe and healthy, both mentally and physically. Keep reading to learn more about employee safety in the commercial cleaning industry.
5 Most Common Types of Worker Injuries
Whether you’re a janitorial company or an office manager, you want to make sure your cleaning technicians stay safe on their jobs. Here are five of the most common causes of injury in any cleaning job.
- Slips, trips, and falls – Cleaning chemicals and water can cause slippery floors; stairs and ladders can cause falls; long hours on feet often result in back strain. If a worker’s job involves any of these conditions, provide safety equipment and be sure to pay attention to their safety on the job site.
- Cuts and punctures – Just about anything sharp can do damage to the skin; ladders are notorious for having loose nails and screws. Tools and equipment used for cleaning – mops, brooms, floor buffers, vacuums – can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly.
- Eye, face, or ear injuries – Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical for a cleaning technician in certain circumstances; making sure they know which personal protection gear is necessary for different jobs is crucial.
- Chemical exposure injuries – Many cleaning agents are potentially hazardous if inhaled or ingested; when handling these chemicals, it’s especially important to be sure no one has cuts on their hands or anywhere else in contact with a fresh wound. It’s also crucial for the employee to wear necessary personal protective equipment such as gloves to protect their skin from contact with the chemical.
- Heat-related injuries –Working in hot conditions is hard enough; working on a tall ladder or moving quickly while carrying heavy equipment only increases the risk of heat exhaustion and/or stroke.
4 Hazards to be Aware of
As a cleaning technician, you can expect to work with a variety of chemicals and other potential hazards every day. While you likely wear some type of protective clothing when performing your job duties, there are four main cleaning-related hazards that could harm your health if not handled correctly. Here’s what you need to know:
- Chemicals – Many cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals that can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs when accidentally inhaled or ingested. If possible, wear gloves and a mask to help prevent exposure; you should also never leave these chemicals unattended and open for an extended period of time.
- Power Tools – Using power tools for any job can pose some risks. Tools such as floor buffers, polishers, and pressure washers all create fine dust particles which are extremely hazardous if inhaled or ingested. They are also usually heavy and bulking, adding an additional challenge for the cleaning technicians. Almost all power tools or cleaning tools come with training & safety manuals that are important to learn for your safety.
- Heavy Equipment – Lifting furniture, carpets, and other large pieces of equipment can be a normal part of cleaning work; however, it’s important to take extra precautions when doing so. Always lift using your legs, not your back. If you experience any pain or discomfort while lifting, speak with a supervisor immediately before continuing with your duties.
- Stairs & Ladders – Many jobs require cleaning services to work on or around stairs, which can present significant safety hazards if not done correctly. If you must use a ladder, ensure that it is stable and firmly in place before climbing up; also remember to always wear gloves, footwear, and a protective helmet when using ladders.
10 Tips for Cleaner Safety
It’s true, there are some dangers that come with any profession. Yet working as a cleaning technician comes with some added safety concerns because of how you work and move around in your business setting. It’s important to remember that your safety is not only crucial to you, but also to your clients and coworkers. Here are 10 tips for cleaner safety.
- Footwear – Always make sure you’re wearing closed-toed shoes and avoid heels of any kind when at work, especially if you’re working on ladders or doing any type of floor cleaning. Make sure your footwear provides good traction; it could be a life-saver if a coworker loses their footing in a slippery area while they’re helping you out with a job.
- Hand Protection – Wear gloves at all times. Yes, there are risks with wearing gloves as well, but many cleaning chemicals will cause permanent damage to your skin if you don’t wear them, so always be sure to have a pair on hand and wear them whenever appropriate. Be sure to get high-quality ones that won’t tear easily or leave residue behind when you take them off—you want to avoid any type of oil build-up on your hands from wearing these gloves for extended periods of time!
- Eye Protection – Always wear eye protection when using chemical products or cleaning chemicals that can splash or create fumes. Many common household chemicals can cause immediate damage to your eyes; avoid contact at all costs. This type of damage cannot be reversed, so always wear goggles when in doubt about what you are handling and don’t take risks.
- Be Aware – Make sure you’re aware of all nearby hazards, including vents and exposed wires or cables that could pose a risk to your safety. Be sure to take a look at the area before beginning work so you can see what’s in front of you and what’s going on behind you as well—you don’t want any surprises while working in an environment that’s unfamiliar!
- Know Your Limits – Never try to push yourself too hard physically. You know your limits better than anyone else, and if it feels like you’re reaching them at any point during a job then stop immediately and ask for help from someone else who is around or come back another time when you have enough time to get everything done without getting injured. Your physical health is absolutely crucial!
- Skin Reactions – Check your body for any signs of an allergic reaction before it’s too late. There are many cleaning chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction or chemical reaction if you come into contact with them, so make sure you check your skin regularly and wash up immediately after a job to avoid any issues later on!
- Eyes Open – Keep your eyes on what you’re doing at all times. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important!
- Know Procedures – Make sure your employees are using proper safety precautions as well. Business owner or cleaning tech, you’re responsible for ensuring you are not only aware of what they should be doing when working in an office setting, but also that they’re comfortable with their cleaning procedures and know exactly what they need to do at all times so they don’t put themselves or anyone else in danger!
- Communicate – Whether you’re in charge of leading your team or just a regular employee, it’s important to be able to communicate effectively with everyone around you—if there’s a problem and people aren’t speaking up, then mistakes are bound to happen!
- First Aid Kit – Make sure you keep a first aid kit nearby at all times, especially when you’re at work and away from home. You never know when someone is going to get hurt in an unexpected way—so it’s good to be prepared!
Professional Commercial Cleaning Services
For commercial cleaning services, it’s vital to keep employees safe. Make sure your cleaning staff always wears appropriate safety gear. Provide them with training so they know what to do in case of an emergency and can handle any situation that may arise. It’s also important to include a good employee handbook in your company policy to ensure all employees are following rules and regulations surrounding safety procedures.
FlowerHill Facility Services ensures employees are trained and informed on safety while on the commercial cleaning or janitorial service job site. If you are seeking a commercial cleaning company for your business with employees that know safety procedures and are trained thoroughly, call FlowerHill Facility Services at (817) 422-4740 or visit www.flowerhillfs.com.
If you are a cleaning technician seeking a job in commercial cleaning or janitorial services with a company that cares about your safety and trains you thoroughly, visit www.flowerhillfs.com/careers to apply today!
FlowerHill Facility services the North Richland Hills, Texas area, including Keller, Southlake, Colleyville, Fort Worth, and Roanoke for all of your commercial and janitorial cleaning needs.