Pre-Covid, cleaning companies noticed a tendency for companies to try and save money by having their employees take on cleaning duties as well as those for which they are contracted. Following the alarm raised by the Covid-19 global pandemic, this trend has somewhat reversed itself, and cleaning companies are now seen as bastions of hygiene and cleanliness. But how can a busy cleaning company ensure that they remain legally compliant and keep their many customers happy all at the same time? In this post, we will look at some processes that encourage health and safety best practices in Dublin.
Employee Clean and Clear
Firstly, and quite simply, employees should be encouraged by management to clear away used mugs and plates, dispose of food wrappers and remains, and put away anything that does not need to be on the desk. It is much easier for a cleaner to come along and clean and perform a thorough office cleaning if they do not have to clear it first, and encouraging a well maintained and neat workspace will likely help with productivity and promote an organized work environment.
Maintain a Routine
Any cleaning jobs that need to be performed should be detailed, with notes on how each job should be completed. This includes cleaning materials used, contact times of any cleanser or detergent, and safety processes required – and each completed task should be journaled, with notes jotted down to inform others about issues noted or steps taken to resolve these.
Hazardous Chemical Care
No personnel should be handling hazardous and potentially harmful chemicals without proper training. Therefore, these products should be kept securely out of the easy reach of those untrained in their use. Again, a journal should be maintained detailing which cleaner used which product and notes about the quantity and result of the work. Otherwise, the Chemical Agents Legislation should be always followed. (NB: the English and Welsh COSHH system does not apply in Dublin, or anywhere else in Ireland.)
Sharps and Hazard Chemical Disposal
The disposal of hazardous chemicals, sharps, and any other used equipment must be undertaken carefully to prevent possible harm from coming to the cleaners and those responsible for waste systems in the company. It should also be done to prevent risk to any members of the public who might be intrigued by such bags of waste and try to investigate them for resaleable items, for example. To prevent this, medical waste is often burned, while other items are carefully sealed away in specialist bags and bins and then later disposed of in areas to which the general public has little or no access.
Be Organised with Equipment
There should always be a hierarchy of cleaning equipment, which can be colour-coded: usually with red for toilets and similarly unsanitary areas; blue for public access areas, and green for restaurant and bar use, with yellow retained for the most sanitary places, such as hospital wards, medical equipment and operating theatres. Keeping equipment stored in appropriate groupings makes it easier for cleaning staff to instinctively pick up the right equipment as well as rely on the colour to set them right in the event of uncertainty.
There’s a Sign!
Whenever cleaning work is in process, signs should be put out: warning signs that surfaces should not be used for thirty minutes, for example, warnings of wetness signs, and cleaning in progress signs. These signs should be in good condition and easily seen and understood by anyone passing through, and they should be removed promptly once the work is complete and the floors and surfaces are restored to their usual condition.
Use Appropriate PPE and Equipment
Many cleaning tasks come with an element of risk, especially working around toilets and medical establishments. To reduce the risk of injury or illness from these hazards, cleaning staff should be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and materials that are designed for professional use. And they should be trained in the correct usage of PPE and decontamination equipment. This leads to the final point:
Ensure Cleaning Staff Complete Their Training and Retraining
Many manual jobs need risk assessments to be completed and for staff to be trained in how to do their job efficiently and safely. This can include dealing with harsh chemicals, lifting and moving heavy equipment and furniture, and understanding how to deal with emergencies, such as chemical spills, unforeseen reactions, and other accidents that can occur on the job. In almost all cases, the calm knowledge of how to contain the situation means that the incident remains a minor one, requiring just a note in the accident book, rather than a lengthy investigation and possible compensation.
As well as ensuring that your cleaning schedule is right for your premises, these steps all ensure several things: you avoid potential fines for poor training and substance handling; you need to perform fewer repairs as well-trained staff understand how to work their equipment; you waste fewer consumables as staff use only appropriate amounts of cleaning products, allowing it sufficient time to work; and – perhaps the best reason of all – you have happier employees who feel safe and protected in their work, and who will thus remain with the company for a long time.
If you are looking for a well-trained and efficient cleaning crew to restore morale at your business premises, why not contact us to get a quote, or give us a call today, at 1-405-1957, and see how we can help you with cleaning services.