Nov 14, 2019

The Importance of Proper Ergonomics in Cleaning & Maintenance

For those who work in cleaning and maintenance, the majority of their work is done on their feet performing tasks that require lots of bending, stooping, pushing, pulling, carrying, and handling a variety of items that range in size, shape, and weight. All this together can put a toll on someone’s physical health in just one day, let alone over a period of time.

Workers in the cleaning industry have a high rate of injury compared to other occupational groups. And while injuries can be somewhat expected given the fact that this work is physical in nature, there are ways to avoid further damage on joints and muscles of those in the industry.

One way in which safety can be increased is through the implementation of better ergonomics among workers. While it’s important to be trained and educated on issues related to injuries related to toxic chemicals used in cleaning, it’s just as important to know about ways to protect and support the musculoskeletal nature of the job.

Insuring Workers and Businesses

Businesses who operate in the janitorial and maintenance sectors should be sure to keep their operations safe while raising accountability among their workers. This can be done by leaning on comprehensive carpet cleaning insurance, which protects companies from major claims related to injuries.

While not every claim or every injury can be avoided, having carpet cleaning insurance among other cleaning-related insurance options will help to provide a cleaning company, for instance, from major legal issues.

Problems and Solutions in the Cleaning Industry

Custodial companies can enhance the general physical support of their employees by making sure the machines and items they use are ergonomic. These are products designed to fit the employee instead of causing the worker to have to fit the equipment’s size and shape.

The point here is to reduce the amount of stress on the body while still being efficient and effective in the worker’s daily tasks. What’s more, using ergonomic products and performing cleaning tasks the right way can minimize injury and encourage safety and wellness.

Here are some tips when it comes to ergonomic products and their use:

  • When buying vacuums, make sure the handles are comfortable for gripping and conform to the hands of the users. A vacuum should be light in weight and include brush-assisted movement, which helps to reduce stress.
  • Noise is also a factor in the health of an employee as high noise will cause fatigue and limit productivity by not being able to focus. Quieter machines are helpful here, so companies should be sure to take the time to find units that limit sound.
  • Sprayers should come with ergonomically designed handles that fit right into the user’s hands and come with textured grips to improve handling.
  • Buckets and mops should either be lightweight or done away with altogether. Alternatives to buckets and mops are microfiber flat mops that are easier to use.

Tips of Movement and Handling

Cleaning workers should also be educated around the effects of how they move and handle cleaning items. Performing cleaning tasks more efficiently will help to minimize injuries and keep work running smoothly.

  • When cleaning, workers should make sure to stand upright and practice looking up instead of looking down at what’s being cleaned. This will help to stretch the neck and reduce stress on the neck and upper back.
  • Always have a relaxed grip when handling tools and equipment to reduce hand and wrist strain.
  • Carts should be used to transport heavier items like trash and bags.
  • For mopping and sweeping, it’s important to have workers move their feet from side to side to cut down on upper body strain.

About Tangram Insurance Services

Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside of San Francisco, Tangram Insurance Services is a full-service Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager offering specialty programs. We focus on industry-relevant coverage, competitive pricing, and practical business and risk management solutions for your clients. Since we are not all things to all people, we make sure to create outstanding custom-built solutions that matter to those businesses, and the brokers who serve those industries. Contact us at (888) 744-9810.