Office Cleaning Risk Assessments: What you Need to Know
Risk assessments are a common feature of most workplace settings, and cleaning companies employ this method of health and safety as a standard part of all commercial cleaning work. Office cleaning is a common example of where a thorough risk assessment should be carried out, and there are a number of steps the project manager in charge of the clean can take in order to comply with legal requirements demanded of employers in every working environment (as stipulated in Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999).
The designated health and safety manager for the cleaning project should seek out advice and guidance as to the types of hazards that may occur during office cleaning. Industry governing websites are a great place to start, as it outlines in detail what to look out for. Doing a walkthrough of the area and making notes of any obvious risks, such as overloaded plug sockets, electrical equipment that may react to liquid cleaning products or cabling that may form a tripping hazard is a good place to start, and recording which members of the cleaning team may be affected by each health risk is an effective way to combat them.
The specific needs of individual members of the cleaning staff should be considered, such as those that have a disability or are pregnant.
Keeping the lines of communication between managers, staff and clients open is essential to ensuring safe working practices. Not only will this help to assess the client’s own office cleaning standards (removal of tripping hazards, cleaning up spills etc), it will also ensure that access to cleaning equipment, such as vacuum cleaners and mops, is simple and unhindered.
Effective training is another crucial aspect, ensuring that your team members are aware of how to act in the event of an emergency, such as a fire, as well as being able to notify the relevant person upon discovering a high risk working hazard. Equipment training should also be carried out for all persons using potentially dangerous tools, and a standard method for reporting accidents should be imposed.
For every hazard noted, the manager should then determine what combative procedures are in place to deal with them, using guidelines laid out in relevant health and safety regulations to assess the correct course of action. Any areas that were found to be lacking in risk correction facilities (ineffective/lacking fire extinguishers, non-PAT tested electrical equipment) should be highlighted and rectified immediately.
Outlining Team Requirements
A detailed discussion between manager and staff as to the potential risks in the environment to be cleaned should then take place. Ensuring that each member of the team is aware of the hazards and their responsibility in dealing with them is essential to maintaining a high level of workplace safety. Special consideration should be taken to make sure that all those whose first language may not be English fully understand all details of the risk assessment, and a (legible) copy should be posted in an easily visible place for later reference.
Annual revision of the risk assessment should be carried out without fail, as the layout and working environment of an office changes regularly. More immediate revisions are necessary if changes concerning the hazardous use of chemicals or electrical equipment occur.
JMS Cleaning Services
The expert cleaners at JMS Cleaning Services have over a decade’s worth of experience, allowing us to develop a bespoke office cleaning schedule tailor-made to your needs. Whether your place of work contains sensitive documentation or equipment, or demands the use of heavy duty chemical cleans, we offer the flexibility to carry out cleaning work in any environment.
For more information, or to discuss your office clean needs, get in touch with the team at JMS today.