The occupational safety and health of cleaning workers is a regularly debated subject, as a result of the hazardous chemicals which make up the majority of the cleaning process. In the United Kingdom in 2003, there were 390,000 employees working in the cleaning industry, and this number has continued to grow over the years. There are some instances where cleaning companies may have to respond to competitive calls for tender, and as a result, they may have to accept contracts where they know that the health and safety requirements may not be met for their workers. Here, we’re taking a closer look at how cleaning businesses can tackle health risks to ensure the safety of their employees, their business and their customers.

Insurance

While this factor very much deals with the aftermath of a health risk, it is imperative that cleaning businesses obtain some form of cleaning insurance prior to starting work on any contract. While some forms of insurance are legally required, such as Employer’s Liability insurance if a business has employees working for them, the main purpose of insurance is to ensure that the company and its workers are protected at all times.

If an accident was to occur and this impacted a passer-by, then Public Liability insurance can protect the business. If an employee is claiming compensation as a result of illness caused by the job (generally exposure to hazardous chemicals), then Employer’s Liability insurance can provide them with appropriate cover.  Professional indemnity insurance is also an important factor for cleaning businesses to have, as this can protect your business if an unhappy client refuses to pay an invoice.

Risk Assessments

Managing the health and safety risks in the workplace is important, and this applies to all businesses across the spectrum. For cleaning businesses, you are likely to be working in a number of different environments, depending on the contracts that you have taken on. As a result, you will need to ensure that all risks are identified in every workplace you are looking to start work in. This is something which the LCA registered company Ideal Cleaning are doing, as the industrial cleaning service that they provide involves a site risk assessment. Straightforward measures can help to ensure that businesses are tackling health risks in most cases, but ignoring these can be detrimental.

COSHH Training

As a cleaning business, you will need to understand the importance of complying with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, also known as COSHH. Employers in the cleaning industry, and any other industry where contact with potentially harmful chemicals can occur, will need to assess all risks and evaluate any arrangements that need to be made in order to deal with an accident or an emergency. Furthermore, they need to control exposure to these dangerous substances (or prevent this where possible), and provide extensive information and training to all staff members in order to ensure all precautions are taken to help tackle any health risks in the workplace. In cleaning, potentially hazardous substances are consistently coming into contact with workers, so ensuring that your team know how to proficiently handle and use these in a work environment is extremely important.

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