While a person may have several excuses for not cleaning their environment, there are various risks associated with this task that should be considered and this is particularly evident in an office or company setting.
One of the most common risks associated with poorly maintained work areas, is a slip-and-fall injury. This is often seen among custodial workers operating on wet surfaces, move heavy objects, and climb ladders. The constant twisting and bending that comes with cleaning can also lead to back injuries. In fact, research has shown that the custodial staff is able to be injured on the job at least 50% more than other workers operating in private industries.
Companies assigning different cleaning duties to their staff members could be placing both the employees and organizations at risk. This is why you should consider the following factors before picking up the dust pan and broom.
1. The Liability Insurance Requirements
Regardless of whether you have a full-time custodial worker or are assigning duties to different employees, there are various liability risks that need to be considered. These are not only applied to the workers but also to potential customers. A reputable service will ensure that all safety regulations are maintained, correct signage is displayed, and the correct liability coverage is put in place. Should an accident occur, such as the visitor experiencing a slip-and-fall injury on a freshly mopped section, the commercial cleaning company’s liability insurance will be able to provide coverage.
2. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premiums
If one of the company’s workers is removed from her or his daily duties and injured while completing these other duties, the workers’ compensation insurance will still need to cover any injuries sustained while on the job. This will reduce the staff member’s morale and productivity levels; furthermore, you will incur a costly worker compensation claim with potential increase in insurance premiums.
3. OSH Compliance
The Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations lists information for companies to ensure maintenance of a sanitary, clean, and serviceable area. The employer should establish and implement a schedule for their staff regarding cleaning, servicing, and supplying each facility with products. While some industries require the usage of toxic chemicals, the chemicals can cause several side effects to staff members if not used correctly including eye burning, lung damage, and skin irritation.
Needless to say, the correct storage of cleaning chemicals and the proper use of the chemicals is of great concern to the OSH. This has prompted the OSH to issue a bulletins regarding the hazards of cleaning product use and the associated protective measures. It is recommended that you do not wait for an OSH inspector to attend your company and must be aware of the risks to meet all safety regulations.
4. Safety With Cleaning Products
As is mentioned above, certain products can be hazardous to a staff member’s health; therefore, it is essential that the employee wear protective clothing, safety goggles and gloves when dealing with chemicals. It is also essential that the cleaners are trained to a sufficient level to handle the different chemical-resistant equipment and manage the chemical ingredients. By completing this training, the staff will learn which solutions can be used in combination with the other and which should be avoided to eliminate the chance of adverse reactions including toxic fumes.
5. Reduced Worker Productivity
In each case where an employee is removed from their critical functions to perform routine cleaning, there will be a reduction in worker morale and productivity. This also means that the worker’s normal duties are not completed in a timely manner. It is important to consider the time a worker spends cleaning an area and their salary to determine if it is more cost-effective to outsource these duties.
6. The Overhead Expenses
Hiring a full-time custodial worker can bring various expenses beyond the worker’s monthly salary. Additional costs associated with any new worker include items such as workers’ compensation insurance and other benefits. It is often underestimated with custodial workers that the overhead costs are quite high, particularly when it comes to resources and equipment. When an organization opts to partner with a cleaning service, the cleaning experts present with the equipment and this reduces the need for resource payment.