5 tips on how professional cleaners can avoid injuries

5 tips on how professional cleaners can avoid injuries

Safety First: How Cleaning Companies Can Prevent Workplace Injuries

Here at Prolux we understand how devastating it can be when you or one of your team members get injured on the job.   Not only is it devastating to your business but just the human cost and trauma is no fun either. The first time that Prolux had a booth at the ISSA show we were surprised by the number of professional cleaners that came up to us asking for better equipment in order to reduce injuries.   Since it is such a problem in our industry we throught we would write an article about it.  

In the fast-paced environment of cleaning services, ensuring the safety of employees is paramount. From handling chemical substances to maneuvering heavy equipment, cleaning tasks come with inherent risks. However, with the right protocols and preventive measures in place, cleaning companies can significantly reduce the occurrence of workplace injuries. In this article, we'll delve into practical strategies that cleaning companies can implement to prioritize safety and protect their employees from harm.

Comprehensive Training Programs: One of the most effective ways to prevent injuries in the cleaning industry is through comprehensive training programs. Employees should receive thorough training on the proper use of cleaning equipment, handling of chemicals, and adherence to safety protocols. Regular refresher courses should also be conducted to reinforce safety practices and address any new hazards that may arise.

Real Life Example:  With the dangers of the possibility of a large earthquake here in Utah and the local fire and police being overwhelmed our local cities provide free training to the surrounding communities.  This in itself is a Training Program designed to reduce injuries.   When we took this training there was one safety habit that really stood out.   As part of the training they showed us the heavy and sad youtube video of when there was a fire at a rock concert and lots of people died.  Why did this happen?  As humans we are naturally inclined to leave the building the same exact way we came in.  As a result when the fire started the crowd all rushed back through the same exit and hardly anyone was able to get out (they were all trying to get through the same doorway and no one could get through).   The other 2 exits?  Totally open.  Even people from outside were yelling "come out this way" but almost no one listed.   Long story short this is something we added to our safety training at Prolux (looking for multiple exits when you enter a building). 

Proper Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Cleaning tasks often involve exposure to various hazards such as chemicals, sharp objects, and biological contaminants. Providing employees with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for their safety. This may include gloves, goggles, face masks, and protective clothing. Additionally, ensuring that PPE is properly fitted and regularly maintained is crucial for its effectiveness.

Real Life Example:  At the Prolux warehouse in Utah our biggest injuries were cuts to our hands.   We implemented a practice of always wearing cloves and problem solved.  Sometimes it can be a simple solution like that. 

Ergonomic Practices: Cleaning professionals are often required to perform repetitive tasks and heavy lifting, which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries if proper ergonomic practices are not followed. Cleaning companies should educate their employees on techniques for lifting heavy objects safely, as well as the importance of taking regular breaks to rest and stretch. Providing ergonomic cleaning tools and equipment can also help reduce strain on the body.

Real Life Example:  Here at the Prolux manufacturing warehouse in Utah we have been quite fortunate to not have many injuries.   Most injuries happen in silly ways where you are just not thinking clearly and afterwards you say "I feel so stupid".  I remember once that our lead shipping manager stepped off a pallet wrong (stepping backwards off a pallet) and fractured his foot.   Something that silly :)  I remember he had a cast and could not walk for weeks so we had him come up and help with customer support but it for sure left the shipping department in a pickle and we for sure added that to our training we gave to our team so it would not happen again. 

Hazard Communication: Clear communication of potential hazards is essential in preventing accidents in the workplace. Cleaning companies should properly label chemical containers, provide safety data sheets (SDS) for all cleaning products, and educate employees on the risks associated with each substance. Additionally, establishing protocols for the safe storage and disposal of hazardous materials is crucial for minimizing exposure and preventing accidents.

Regular Equipment Maintenance: Malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment can pose serious safety hazards to cleaning personnel. Cleaning companies should implement regular inspection and maintenance schedules for all cleaning equipment to ensure that they are in good working condition. Employees should also be trained to identify and report any issues with equipment promptly.

Real Life Example:  Many people ask us why at Prolux we do not put the power switch to most of our backpack vacuums in the belt like our competition does (see picture below) but instead place them on the body of the vacuum (the user can still easily turn them on and off).

Our competition.

Prolux Power Switch:

The reason we do it this way is years of experience :)  With the method in the belt it uses a cord that goes to a switch.   Over time with the cord and switch moving so much the cord and switch should be replaced but most people do not do it.   As a result when this happens it is common that the switch shorts out and sparks start flying!  Now let me tell you when you are wearing a vacuum and this happens it ruins your day :)  This is why at Prolux we put the power switch on the body (like the image above) where it does not move/wear out and need replaced and you can feel totally confident wearing your Prolux backpack vacuum :) 

In conclusion make sure your equipment you are using is properly maintained!  As our grandparents would always say "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" :)

Want to learn more about Prolux's professional cleaning equipment?  CLICK HERE

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