Spring Cleaning Time: Commercial Cleaning Tips to Reduce Risk

Topics: Loss Control

Spring has officially sprung! The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and it’s time to open the windows to let in some of that fresh, warm air. Spring is the season of rebirth, bringing along the annual tradition of spring cleaning to revive the home after the long winter. In fact, according to a 2018 survey from the American Cleaning Institute, 60 percent of the U.S. population perform a variety of spring cleaning tasks to give their home that thorough cleaning it needs.

When it comes to the home, spring cleaning is important to get it tidy, organized and can even improve the health of the household by removing common asthma and allergy triggers that worsen this time of year. Spring cleaning is an important ritual to take part in in the workplace, too, as it allows you to not only eliminate dust and grime, but also assess safety risks that could lead to employee injuries.

The Importance of a Clean Workplace

commercial spring cleaning tips

Maintaining a clean, safe work environment is essential to the health, wellness and safety of your employees. A tidy, clutter-free workplace helps reduce injuries, boosts morale and productivity, and ensures employees are motivated to perform their duties more effectively. Additionally, sanitary offices, public spaces and restrooms help keep workers healthy, reducing the amount of sick days they may take and the loss of productivity that comes along with them.

Spring Cleaning Tips for a Safe Work Environment

Hazards can be found in any type of commercial establishment, from office buildings and retail outlets to machine shops and five-star restaurants. As you welcome in the warmer spring weather, it’s the perfect time to take a look around your small business and identify the areas that could use some sprucing up, as well as identify the areas that could increase risk of injury for your employees. A few workplace cleaning tips to keep in mind this spring include:

Clear the clutter

A workspace littered with boxes, bags, equipment, piles of paper, etc. can easily heighten the risk of trips, slips and falls among employees or customers. It’s especially important to remove clutter from high traffic areas and stairs. As one of the most popular spring cleaning tasks is to get organized, do a thorough purge of any items cluttering up work areas, blocking exits or posing tripping hazards.

Remove any potential fire hazards

In addition to clutter increasing the risk for injury, it can also add to the risk for a fire. Stockpiles of papers and boxes on floors, desks, or file cabinets can pose a significant fire hazard, especially if they are located near sources of ignition. If any materials are considered to be flammable, they should be stored in designated areas.

Store items properly

As you’re working to clear clutter from your workplace, items that you’ll be keeping should be properly stored to avoid accidents or injuries. Heavy objects should be placed on waist-high shelves so they can be lifted with minimal bending or reaching. Boxes and other items should be stacked securely and maintained as low as possible to prevent things from falling or toppling over onto employees or customers.

Deep clean the floors

Throughout the year, you’re probably sweeping, vacuuming and/or mopping regularly as clean, dry floors are key in preventing slips and falls. However, during spring cleaning time consider getting any carpets, tile and other flooring professionally cleaned.

Additional Commercial Spring Cleaning Tips

Consider your cleaning chemicals

Part of any good spring cleaning project will often include use of soaps, detergents, disinfectants, waxes, polishes and various other types of cleaning chemicals. In most cases, these are relatively benign and non-hazardous, however, none of them are good for the eyes. Safety eyewear is a good idea when mixing and using these items, as is the use of gloves to protect potentially sensitive skin. Additionally, some ordinary cleaning compounds can produce toxic gasses or liquids when mixed, so it’s important to only mix chemicals as instructed on the labeling for the chemical. Never assume two chemicals will mix together safely.

Take caution when working at heights

A thorough cleaning often includes windows, stairwells, high atriums or other areas not reachable from the floor. Always try to use pole-mounted brushes, squeegees or other aids to minimize the need to climb. If climbing is absolutely necessary, be sure to utilize only step stools with a sturdy hand hold to help maintain balance. Falls from ladders are a leading cause of injury in both the home and workplace, so minimizing all climbing should be a top priority.

Check first aid supplies

The changing of the season is the perfect reminder to check the state of your company’s first aid kit. Find out what items need to be restocked and get them ordered immediately. A first aid kit is a must in order to fulfill standard safety requirements, and they’re also essential for promptly attending to any type of minor workplace accident or injury.

Schedule safety training

All workers should be properly trained in safety procedures and cleaning protocols at the start of their employment. However, periodic training can help keep these processes top of mind for the entire staff, ensuring that information is better retained over time.

Create a cleaning schedule

Once your workplace is all tidied up and thoroughly cleaned, keep it that way throughout the year! Post written rules for cleanliness, including what types of cleansers and tools should be used, and assign out various tasks to ensure all employees are adhering to the schedule. Regular walkthroughs to inspect the state of the work environment are also recommended.

Loss Control Services from AmTrust Financial

AmTrust’s Loss Control Department knows that access to the right safety resources and commercial property safeguards can help your organization take a proactive approach in reducing workplace injuries and improving employee safety. For more information about our small business insurance solutions please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact with your local RSM for more information.

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