Office Cleaning Health and Safety

Risk assessment should be carried out to control any hazards that cleaning operatives and office building users may encounter from the carrying out cleaning operations on site.
The main hazards encountered by an office cleaner are;-

Manual Handling
Cleaning operatives should be made aware of the risk from manual handling tasks including instruction in how to lift correctly.
  • Assess the load and plan the route prior to the lift.
  • Remove any obstructions or hazards from your route.
  • Use mechanical aids where possible.
  • Wear suitable footwear ideally with steel toe caps.
  • Beware of sharp objects.
  • Lift load with heaviest side to the body.
  • Keep the feet apart, bend knees, keep a straight back.
  • Keep the load close to the body, take a firm grip and lift maintaining a straight back at all times.
  • Lift smoothly to knee and then to waist level, moving forward without twisting.
  • Reverse procedure to put the load down.
Cleaning operative should be made aware of the risks involved in the use of cleaning chemicals.
  • Select a suitable product for the task to be undertaken.
  • Must read safety data sheet prior to use.
  • Ensure any personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn.
  • Dilute chemicals as directed by the label.
  • Add chemical to water.
  • Correctly label all spray bottles and do not use unlabelled containers.
  • Never mix chemicals as this may produce a toxic gas.
  • Ventilate areas and place warning signs when using chemicals.
  • Clean up any spillages immediately.
  • Dispose of any unused or soiled solution as directed by the safety data sheet.
  • Rinse and neutralise cleaning equipment after use.
  • When not in use ensure chemicals are stored safely and securely.
  • Keep chemicals out of the reach of children at all times.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Cleaning operatives should be made aware of the risk from trailing cables associated with the use of vacuum cleaners and other cleaning equipment. Also the risk to building users with regards slipping on a wet floors immediately after cleaning. Warning signs must be used when carrying out floor cleaning operations.

Clinical Waste
Clinical waste is mainly produced by hospitals or health centers but on rare occasions office cleaners will come into contact clinical waste so should be properly trained in order to keep any such risks to a minimum.

Examples of clinical waste in offices:
  • Vomit
  • Blood
  • Excretions
  • Syringes
Infection Control
Would you use the same cloth to clean a toilet as you would a workstation?

Colour coding of cloths should be used to minimise the risk of cross contamination of micro –organisms. The list below shows colour coding as recommended by The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc).

  • Red Cloths – Sanitary appliances and washroom floors
  • Yellow Cloths – Wash basins and other washroom surfaces
  • Blue Cloths – General lower risk areas (excluding food areas)
  • Green Cloths – General food and bar use.