- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor publishes standards for the professional office cleaning industry.
- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) provides an official certification as part of its “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED ) certification in green building maintenance and janitorial practices.
- Several organizations support the professional building cleaning industry including The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association (ISSA), The Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), and the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI). Each organization offers its professional recommendations.
Office Cleaning Tips
Check out this months office cleaning tips:
- Beware of worker’s exposure to pathogens and infectious organisms in buildings. Needle sticks and blade cuts are often a hazard in settings that deal with medicine or medical research. Take additional care and use penetration resistant gloves and clothing.
- Control exposure to pathogens by implementing an exposure control plan with protective clothing, equipment medical surveillance, and work practice controls.
- Train employees. Vaccinate employees against hepatitis B, and other potential blood-borne pathogens where possible.
- Use appropriate chemicals. Sanitizers contain chemical substances that reduce but do not eliminate microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and molds. Sanitizers are often mandated for use in toilet areas or food preparation areas. Disinfectants can destroy or inactivate infectious organisms and should be used in medical settings.
- Use safe chemicals. Cleaners should be employed whenever sanitizing or disinfection is not required. Cleaners are less hazardous than disinfectants and sanitizers. Mists, Vapors, and gasses from cleaning chemicals can irritate eyes, nose, throat and lungs. Mixing cleaning products that contain bleach and ammonia can cause severe lung damage. Check the labels and use chemicals according to their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous cleaning.
- Pay particular heed to the cleaning of “confined spaces“, especially those that may contain a hazardous atmosphere or floors that slope downward or taper into smaller areas. These spaces may trap and asphyxiate an entrant. Watch out for unguarded machinery, exposed live wires, heat stresses, or poor oxygen quality.
- Assess the ventilation status in spaces to be cleaned. The health of cleaning employees depends on adequate ventilation in the space they have to clean.
- Be aware of hazardous energies. Electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, or thermal energy in equipment or machines can be very dangerous for cleaning staff through burns, electro-shock, or severe crushing or cutting injuries. Make sure hazardous areas are appropriately labeled and properly locked. Proper lockout/tag out procedures safeguard workers from accidents due to hazardous energy.
- Educate yourself about fall hazards. Institute fall protection for overhead platforms, elevated (four feet and higher) workstations, or holes in the floor and walls. Provide appropriate guardrails and toe-boards around every elevated platform, floor, and runway. Safety harnesses, lines, nets, and railings may be required at particular dangerous areas. Keep floor areas clean, un-slippery, and dry.
- Lead, carbon monoxide, asbestos, molds exposure: Be aware of safety requirements. These environmental toxins may not cause immediate harm, but repeated exposure can cause chronic and some cases untreatable medical conditions.
- Correctly use powered industrial trucks and forklifts. Make sure these vehicles are operated by trained and licensed operators. Do not use forklifts as standing platforms unless securely fastened.
- Design a thoughtful ergonomics program to protect staff. Injuries due to poor posture when lifting inappropriate weights or standing in incorrectly levered positions when lifting or using cleaning tools are common. Repetitive motions like repeated asymmetrical bending or turning can put employees at risk. Cleaning tasks can often be adjusted to involve less painful movements. Educate workers about the correct use of tools. Employers should enlist employee buy-in to the discussion of hazardous and painful ergonomic practices in the workplace, and solutions as to how to make appropriate adjustments.
Vanguard Cleaning Systems, founded by Jeff Sorrell in 2009, is a multi-award winning janitorial and office cleaning master franchise in the Southern Valley. Please contact us to find out about our professional janitorial services and office cleaning services.
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790