The cleaning sector has specific characteristics which make workplace accident prevention policies very complex. Cleaning acts can take place inside premises of all types (offices, factories, workshops, institutional organizations, shops, etc.) but also outside (cleaning windows, vehicles, gardens, aisles, etc.). All contexts combined, the risks in the company are numerous. Ignoring it has consequences for both the employee and the employer: loss of time, loss of productivity, penalties (this is a regulatory obligation whose general principles are enshrined in the Labor Code).
What measures must the employer take to prevent the staff in charge of cleaning the premises from being exposed to risks? What are the main safety rules for professional cleaning?
Professional cleaning safety rules
Most cleaning work requires manual handling of loads: transporting product cans, buckets, stepladders, vacuum cleaners, handling trash cans, garbage bags, machines, moving objects and furniture. These specific operations are the source of many risks: accidents, occupational illnesses such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) or even incapacity for work which is accompanied by reclassification problems. Choosing the hometress cleaning service is the right option here.
How to ensure safety in the cleaning sector?
The employer is required to take the necessary measures to guarantee the safety of his staff and to ensure the protection of his health, depending on the nature of the work situations encountered and the organization specific to the company. These measures cover all actions to prevent occupational risks based on the Labor Code, but also methods, best practices, know-how, as well as information, training and the implementation of organization and appropriate resources.
Safety and maintenance products
- The cleaning products used for cleaning work may pose a chemical risk (harmful substances, toxic, irritant, corrosive or flammable). Labeling must be present and legible.
- Isolate dangerous or incompatible products (such as acids such as descales and alkalis such as bleach).
- Use retention basins to avoid any risk of spillage or accidental mixing (in the event of a container leaking).
Safety and personnel protection
The personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used when collective protective measures fail to work safely. They aim to protect users against one or more risks that could threaten their safety or health.
Provide the necessary equipment according to the nature of the tasks to be performed. The basic professional attire will include waterproof household gloves resistant to the products used, non-slip protective footwear covering the foot and easily cleanable, work clothes changed and as soon as soiled or daily. Provide on the infirmary side, a medicine cabinet or a first aid kit in each work area.
Safety and staff training
Cleaning agents must be informed of the risks specific to their working environment in order to have a good knowledge and a fair appreciation of the risks.
- Good work postures to reduce the occurrence of MSDs
- Professional actions (manual handling)
- Safety for all (safety of agents in the event of an accident but also safety of others in the event of a disaster)
Safety and work organization
Preparing and organizing work also contributes to the safety of maintenance workers.
Safety and machinery
The rule is to adapt machines and equipment to the human body and not the other way around. Choose machines and equipment (single- disc machine, vacuum cleaners, etc.) according to the distances to be covered, the configuration of the premises and the accesses (stairs, corridors, elevators). Favor machines of low weight, equipped with wheels adapted to the ground, easy to handle, and offering all the accessories that will limit bad postures (length of cable, extension, nozzles, etc.).