August 19, 2022

Cleaning Safety: Prevent Injuries and Keep Cleaning Staff Safe

Subscribe to our blog.

Keeping cleaning staff safe and injury free is important to the health and success of your team.

When cleaning staff are absent from work due to injury, the cleaning falls on co-workers or does not get done. This can lead to facilities that are dirty, which has ramifications as well.

A dirty facility can negatively impact customers and building patron or lead to dirt and debris disrupting the quality of products and goods in industrial and manufacturing settings, for example.

Some of the most common safety issues across industries are:

  • Slip, Trips, and Falls: due to rugs or floor mats, wet floors, chords and more
  • Chemical Accidents: depending on the facility, this can be related to hazardous materials used in production of goods or even the detergents and chemicals used in cleaning supplies
  • Equipment Safety: can come from improper use of equipment
  • Respiratory Issues: caused by chemicals or toxins in the air
  • Climbing Hazards: improper use of ladders or other extension type equipment
  • Ergonomic or RSIs: Ergonomic issues and RSI (repetitive stress injuries) come from leaning over for extended periods of time or repetitive motion work like mopping

Many of these injuries can be prevented when staff have the proper knowledge and training. That is why it is important to take action and keep your team safe.

Steps to Preventing Cleaning Staff Injuries

1-Develop Detailed Cleaning and Safety Plans

Part of creating a clean and safe environment is having a safety plan. It is important to review this information with cleaning staff multiple times throughout the year—especially if new staff members have been added to the team.

Since cleaning and safety go hand in hand, your cleaning plan should address safety issues throughout—this way staff know why it is important to follow specific steps.

Here are a few things your cleaning and safety plan should address:

  • Proper Attire: things like having the proper attire for the job—for example, wearing closed toe and rubber soled shoes. This can be extremely important for staff that are responsible for cleaning floors.
  • Placement of Floor Signs: Making sure staff know when and where to place wet floor signs is another important part of a safety plan—as this can impact staff and any guests in the facility.
  • Proper Use of Cleaning Agents: Reviewing the proper use of chemicals and cleaning agents including where, when, and how to store them is also important. It is always a good idea to make sure all chemicals are properly labeled, kept in their original packaging, and that staff know how each detergent or cleaning agent should be used. Mixing the wrong chemicals together can result in dangerous toxins released in the air that can cause respiratory issues.
  • Addressing Chemical Spills: Chemical spills can happen anywhere. Making sure your cleaning team is trained in proper protocol for how to address the chemicals in your specific facility is important. This can help reduce burns and toxins from being mixed into the air.

Here are some additional tips for an

2-Provide On-Going Training

one cleaning staff employee training another

Regular training is key to keeping cleaning staff safe. As we learned from Covid 19, protocols for the proper way to clean specific environments can change.

For example, in hospitals it is important for cleaning teams to clean from the top to the bottom of a room. This way if germs, bacteria, or viruses are present in the room, it will make its way towards the floor as cleaning occurs.

Cleaning floors last helps to ensure that any bacteria or viruses stirred up can be cleaned off the floor last, helping to reduce the spread of infection to people.

It is also important to provide staff with information on the PPE or proper protective items to wear whether it is rubber gloves or face masks, protecting the skin and eyes is crucial.

And, depending on the environment, it may be important to review cleaning protocols for different types of machinery. Industrial and manufacturing facilities operate large and sometimes dangerous machines.

Training and reminding staff to be safe around machinery is important to their overall health.

Cleaning person working alongside Cobi 18

3-Invest in Autonomous Cleaning Solutions

According to Janitorial Manager some of the leading causes of workplace injuries come from needing to rush to get the work done (91% of respondents agreed) and not having enough time to get the work done (17% of respondents agreed).

The correlation here is that due to increased responsibilities, cleaning staff rush to get through their task lists, and this results in feeling like they do not have time to get the work done.

Rushing to get work done and feeling under pressure can result in injuries of all kinds. Slip and falls, mixing wrong chemicals which can lead to breathing or skin irritations, and even lifting equipment improperly which can lead to straining muscles.

Beyond that, rushing can lead to a job not done well.

Bringing on autonomous cleaning equipment, like an autonomous floor scrubber by ICE Cobotics, can help address these issues.

  • When autonomous solutions like Cobi take on the repetitive work of floor scrubbing, staff are freed to focus on other high-priority tasks. This increases productivity and can help reduce the mental stress that staff experience when rushing to get cleaning done.
  • Since automation follows the same mapped route each time it is deployed, and even learns the path better over time, the cleaning is consistent and human error is eliminated. Meaning, the facility will become cleaner over time.
  • By deploying autonomous floor cleaning solutions, staff are freed from repetitive work like mopping that can lead to repetitive stress injuries or RSIs. RSIs are injuries in the joints, muscles, tendons, and skeletal system caused by repeat motions.

According to Ergonomic Trends “1.8 million workers are afflicted by RSIs per year, with around 600,000 of those people taking time off from work to recuperate.”

While RSIs are only one example of injuries experienced by workers, these injuries can have a substantial impact. Not only are people affected, but business is affected too.

Without cleaning staff on hand to make sure a facility is clean and safe, other parts of the business, like the perception of clean and even safety of customers, can be impacted. Each of these things has the potential to negatively affect the success of a business if not handled carefully.

ICE Cobotics is an industry leading provider of cleaning technology and equipment. If you are interested in autonomous solutions or other floor cleaning equipment, We are happy to help!

For more reading check out:

Related Posts

Computer and paperwork with data displayed on a desk

How a Subscription Can Save Time When Disposing of Cleaning Equipment

Disposing of commercial cleaning equipment is a hassle and time-consuming. With an ICE Cobotics subscription service, you can save time and money.

Read MoreRight Arrow
custodian mopping bathroom floors

9 Reasons to Stop Using a Mop and Bucket to Clean Floors

Put down the mop and bucket! You may be spreading more germs than you are actually cleaning! It's time to say goodbye to the old stand by and discover new solutions that will help your facility shine!

Read MoreRight Arrow
Cobi 18 navigating a retail environment

The Top 7 Things to Know About Autonomous Floor Scrubbers

Autonomous or robotic floor scrubbers have a variety of features and benefits that make them easy for staff to use and able to help increase productivity and efficiency. Learn more.

Read MoreRight Arrow

Related Posts

0103
Computer and paperwork with data displayed on a desk

How a Subscription Can Save Time When Disposing of Cleaning Equipment

Disposing of commercial cleaning equipment is a hassle and time-consuming. With an ICE Cobotics subscription service, you can save time and money.

Read MoreRight Arrow
custodian mopping bathroom floors

9 Reasons to Stop Using a Mop and Bucket to Clean Floors

Put down the mop and bucket! You may be spreading more germs than you are actually cleaning! It's time to say goodbye to the old stand by and discover new solutions that will help your facility shine!

Read MoreRight Arrow