Janitors face many hazards and risks on a day-to-day basis. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor classifies cleaning and custodial work as a high-risk job due to the 40,000-plus job-related accidents that occur every year. Nearly half of these injuries result in musculoskeletal injuries, most caused by slips, trips, falls, and issues with equipment and sharp objects. Other common causes of injury include overexertion from lifting, burns, hearing issues, and coming in direct with hazardous substances. For your clients to limit these risks, it’s best to have proper training, updated resources, risk management plans, and janitorial insurance. Here’s a better look at how how this industry can be proactive in reducing worksite injuries for janitors.
Proper Field Training
Janitors and other cleaning professionals need to train on how to operate cleaning equipment and applying potentially hazardous chemicals. Training should also reinforce which types of protective items must be worn and used, review areas where harsh chemicals shouldn’t be used, and make sure flammable chemicals are kept far away from sources of heat.
Muscle & Joint Injuries
To avoid ergonomic injuries, janitorial employees need to make sure anyone handling quipment knows how to lift safely by bending at the knees and not the waist. Repetitive motions end up causing severe muscle and joint injuries. Switching up activities or investing in ergonomically designed products like backpack vacuums can cut down on cleaners’ physical burden.
Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls
Janitorial services should use wet floor signs at all entrances where potentially slippery floors can injure themselves or others. Using rubber-soled shoes with a good grip is the best kind of footwear to avoid slips when walking across wet surfaces.
Having spatial awareness is vital in avoiding tripping over any equipment cords, mats, and other objects on the floor during cleaning. It’s also important for teams to know they should never stand on chairs, tables, or other items to reach high areas.
Back Injuries in the Industry
Nearly 80% of working adults report back injuries at some time. In the cleaning industry, this is even more prevalent. However, these back injuries are often preventable. Considering the devastating effects they can have on the employee and the company, janitorial businesses must prevent these injuries from occurring.
Here are a few steps to help prevent back injuries:
- Take a balanced stance with feet about shoulder-width apart when working.
- Take regular five-minute breaks to give back and joints rest.
- When lifting objects, lift gradually and smoothly instead of making jerking motions.
Have a Safety Plan
Reviewing safety protocols with a team at various intervals throughout the year is always a good idea for janitorial services. Also, it helps to review equipment and safety items regularly, to assure that janitorial service professionals have the proper safety tools that are needed depending on their working environment.
If clients in the industry understand these issues and stay up to date on safety issues and janitorial insurance, they can limit costs, injuries, and future accidents.
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.