Cleaning jobs require physical strength and stamina. Whether it is in private homes or organizations such as schools, hospitals or hotels, you’ll be stretching, lifting and/or bending – activities that can all potentially lead to health problems and injuries. However, there are ways of staying healthy while working as a cleaner.
Don’t be slippin’ out here in these streets. Not surprisingly, slips and falls are the most common accidents that cleaners experience. While cleaning, wear appropriate footwear that will be comfortable and safe. Athletic footwear such as trainers are the best option since they provide stable support for the feet and have soles that will keep you safely grounded. Open-toe shoes and sandals are for the beach, not for cleaning.
Exhibit proper form by channeling your inner ballerina. Cleaning requires a lot of lifting and stretching, so performing these activities in a way that does not injure the body is important. Learning the right way to lift, for example, by bending the knees rather than the waist, will lessen the risk of injury. Also, try to ensure that any equipment you use has been ergonomically designed to prevent injuries due to repetitive movements. If you are required to use specialized cleaning equipment such as buffers, your employer should ensure that you have been adequately trained in its use ( if you’re a professional cleaner). If you have to clean the top of wardrobes or other high places, make sure that you use a proper ladder or stepping stool – do not try to channel your inner Shaquille O’Neil.
You are what you breathe. When dusting, do not use a feather duster, as this will increase the risk of inhalation. Instead, use damp dusting methods. When sweeping, you should also reduce the risk of dust inhalation by using a damp mop or vacuuming. Cleaning agents are commonly used in cleaning, but it is better to use pump sprayers rather than aerosols. Spray a small amount on to a cloth for cleaning rather than smothering the surface. This will reduce the number of fumes that you inhale. If you have to use caustic cleaning agents, always wear gloves to protect your skin.
Don’t repeat if you sense defeat. Repetitive strain injuries occur when the body is asked to perform a physical task over and over again (like singing that Tim McGraw song featuring Nelly over and over again). Even repetitive “non-demanding” tasks can lead to long-term health complications, like typing at a computer, which can lead to RMI injuries. Common RMIs include tendonitis, bursitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Once developed, these can be very painful and will significantly impact on productivity. If you have suffered a muscle injury, compression clothing may help. Copper is known to have anti-bacterial properties, so a copper brace may be beneficial not only for support but also for preventing infection. A back brace for women may be worn to provide support and to provide relief from aches and pains. As the brace improves circulation, it can help to reduce muscle fatigue.
Cleaning can seem like a safe task, but without taking the proper precautions, you’ll put yourself in grave danger. Follow these four guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to a safe and responsible cleaning lifestyle. In all honesty however, the safest thing you can possibly do is call Maid Sailors.