Have to clean your business is inevitable. You can ask your employees to help out, or you can hire an in-house cleaner. There are some very real risks associated with this necessary task that should be considered, especially in an office or business setting.
Slip-and-fall injuries are common among custodial workers who work on wet surfaces, climb ladders, move heavy objects and more. The continuous bending and twisting that comes with cleaning can also result in back injuries. In fact, studies show that custodial employees can be injured on the job twice as much as other workers in private industries.
Companies that assign these types of cleaning duties to their employees could be putting them and their organizations at risk. Consider the following before picking up that broom and dustpan!
#1 – Liability Insurance Requirements
Whether you have a full-time custodian or assign cleaning duties to various employees, there are many liability risks to consider. These not only apply to your workers but to potential visitors. A reputable cleaning service will ensure that all safety measures are taken, proper signage is displayed and, most importantly, proper liability coverage is in place. Should an incident occur, such as a visitor slipping and falling on a freshly mopped area, the commercial cleaning company’s liability insurance can provide coverage.
#2 – Workers’ Comp Insurance
If one of your workers is taken away from his or her normal duties and injured while washing windows or performing other cleaning, your workers’ compensation insurance will still need to cover any injuries sustained while on the job. Not only will your employee’s productivity and morale decrease, but you’ll incur a costly work comp claim and a potential increase in premiums.
#2 – OSHA Compliance
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires any business to ensure it is maintained in a clean, sanitary and serviceable condition, and expects the employer to establish and implement a schedule for servicing, cleaning and supplying each facility. Some industries may require the use of more toxic cleaning chemicals, which can irritate skin, burn eyes and cause lung damage if not properly handled. Proper storage and use of cleaning chemicals are a major concern, prompting OSHA to issue a bulletin on the hazards of cleaning products and associated protective measures. Don’t wait for an OSHA inspector to show up at your door to become aware of the potential risks.
#3 – Cleaning Product Safety
As mentioned, some cleaning products can be hazardous to your health. Wearing protective clothing, gloves and safety goggles may be required with some chemicals, and properly trained commercial cleaners will be equipped with the right types of chemical-resistant safety gear to get the job done. They’ll also know which cleaning solutions should not be used in combination with each other to avoid potential adverse chemical reactions that produce toxic fumes and can result in respiratory complications.
#4 – Decreased Worker Productivity
Any time a worker is taken away from their critical functions to perform routine cleaning, it reduces productivity and morale. It also means their normal duties are not being completed in a timely manner. Consider an employee’s salary and the time spent cleaning to determine whether it’s more cost-effective to outsource these functions.
#5 – Overhead Costs
Hiring a full-time custodian brings with it more than just his or her salary. There are additional costs associated with any new hire, such as benefits and workers’ comp insurance. Often underestimated with custodial positions, however, are the overhead costs to provide the tools they need to perform their duties. Ordering, properly storing and managing an adequate cleaning supply inventory and any necessary equipment will be the responsibility of the business. When an organization chooses to partner with a cleaning service, its cleaning experts come equipped with everything they need to get the job done right and in a timely manner.
When looking at the overall costs and the many risks associated with cleaning your own business, it’s clear that outsourcing those functions makes sense. Reach out to us here at SD Janitor Inc. for all your cleaning needs. From routine maintenance to window washing to industrial clean-up, our full-service commercial cleaning services can help you mitigate the risks and demonstrate to your employees that you care.