Commercial clients that provide professional cleaning services or employ janitorial staff need to be mindful of the unique health and safety risks associated with this type of work. Employers’ recognition of various hazards can make them better able to balance risk and prevent injuries.
Here are five of the most common janitorial job hazards that insurance agents should help companies evaluate.
1. Chemical Exposure
Cleaning may involve the use of harsh chemicals that can cause injury to workers’ skin or eyes. Also, inhalation of certain chemicals may cause severe respiratory damage. It is important for companies to train staff about using chemicals safely, and it is advisable for them to carry janitorial insurance that includes general liability coverage.
2. Slip and Falls
Cleaning staff will invariably have to work on wet surfaces if their job duties involve any mopping. Also, an accidental spill of any liquids that staff use in their job duties could create some risk for a slip and fall. Moreover, staff may be at risk of falling when they are working on uneven surfaces that require some maneuvering, such as stairs. Companies can reduce the risk of falls by training their staff to use situational awareness when working on wet or uneven surfaces and not rushing their work.
3. Repetitive Motion Injury
Cleaning staff will often need to perform the same motions throughout the day. While some of these specific motions may seem to be relatively low-impact, performing them continually could result in a repetitive motion injury. A comprehensive janitorial insurance package can include both workers’ compensation as well as short and long-term disability policies that cover these types of injuries. These key policies will help staff get medical treatment and make it possible for them to recuperate.
4. Lifting Strains
Working with heavy supplies and equipment can lead to injury. Back strain and spinal injury that result from lifting are among the most common cleaning hazards in the workplace. Whenever possible, it is a good practice for employers to spare janitorial staff from lifting heavy items. Rolling carts to carry equipment and supplies can make a big difference.
5. Equipment Malfunction
If staff is using equipment that is in poor condition, they could experience a serious accident. For example, electrical equipment with frayed wires could cause electrical shock. Likewise, using equipment such as a ladder or a step stool that has become unstable may cause a fall. Policies for inspecting equipment and replacing it as needed will make it possible to prevent avoidable injuries stemming from equipment problems.
Employers can mitigate the possibility that their staff will sustain an injury on the job by adopting thorough safety policies and risk management strategies. When employers are able to manage risk and address common hazards, they can help protect their staff while also safeguarding their companies against liability and loss.
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.