As a commercial cleaning services company employing cleaners to carry out the work then Health and Safety plays an essential part in ensuring that you are successful and remain so. The cleaning industry is rated second behind the consteuction industry for work related accidents. As an employer you have a duty of care to discharge and a legal obligation to enact all the relevant legislation.
For Cleaning Companies in the early stages of business this can be a daunting task. By reading the following advice you can start to think about ways in which you can manage your cleaning contracts and staff in an effective way.
When visiting a new site on quoting for a contract ask yourself Is the site a safe place to work? Do you have any concerns about access, ventilation, and storage? Premises that are cluttered with obstacles will not only affect the ease to which your staff can carry out their tasks, but can pose fire risks, trip hazards and other potential dangers to your staff. Remember they are your responsibility. Under current legislation you are legally obliged not to put your employees into situations where they could come to harm, whether that harm is immediate, short term or potentially long term.
Are your employees fully trained, competent and confident in carrying out their work in the safest possible way? All of your employees should be familiar with your company’s Health and Safety Policy, emergency procedures, Method Statements, COSHH assessments and safe working practices such as storage of chemicals, materials and equipment, and the means of disposal for certain chemicals. Remember this is not just a matter of providing documentation, all staff must fully understand all aspects of Health and Safety in their work. This is a particular problem for employees who may have English as a second language, or anyone who, for whatever reason has difficultly understanding written English. If you know or suspect that this may be the case for any of your employees, then consider the provision of Health and Safety documentation in picture format for them, as well as lengthier and heavily supervised training sessions. Always make special considerations for those who may be vulnerable through inexperience, age, disability, and in their ability to understand written and/or spoken English. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your employees fully understand all aspects of Health and Safety. This will be continued in part 2.