Workplace Wellbeing: Choosing The Right Work Equipment
Although workplace wellbeing is often overlooked whilst profit is prioritised, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that the total annual costs of work-related ill health and injury in 2017/18 were £15 billion. In today’s world, employers should be asking themselves: what can we do to ease the load on our maintenance staff?
Choosing the correct equipment
Cleaners, caretakers, porters and janitors regularly use equipment in their work that could, if unsuitable, contribute to aches and pains. By providing equipment that makes life easier for staff, you don’t just improve worker wellbeing – you could also see boosts to productivity.
HSE statistics show that between 2018-19 there were 69,208 work-related, non-fatal injuries in Great Britain, injuries that not only harm workers directly but also reduce their productivity in the long term. If you provide cleaning equipment designed to reduce the stresses and strains that carrying, bending, stretching, walking, or climbing up ladders can cause, your employees have a lower chance of accidents or injuries in the workplace.
All workers have the right to work in a safe environment but, as an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure that’s the case. Luckily, each year, hundreds of new products that claim to make the jobs of maintenance staff easier enter the market, meaning there’s plenty of choice.
We actively seek supplier partners who are at the forefront of new developments and we stock many ergonomically designed cleaning tools. The following tips will help you find the right products to increase workplace wellbeing and health and safety for cleaners and other maintenance staff.
Whether you’re buying for a cleaner or a porter, a trolley has the potential to revolutionise the way that your staff go about their everyday work. For cleaners, janitorial trolleys are a great way to ensure that cleaners can move their equipment and supplies around the building without the need for constant bending or turning that could aggravate back pain.
Trolleys allow mop buckets, mops, spray cleaning supplies, wet floor signs and rubbish sacks to be moved around by the worker more easily and safely. This Structocart Trolley is a great example. With a 100-litre flame-resistant waste bag and swivel castors at the front, it’s practical as well as easy to manoeuvre. A lockable safe box is an optional extra so that staff can keep keys safe whilst they work.
Mopping is a necessary job for cleaners and other maintenance staff, but the repetitive motion can put a strain on the back, shoulders, wrists and hands if the wrong equipment has been used. In buildings with large floor surface areas, a scrubber drier machine is a great solution. Not only will it speed up the job, but it will also help prevent repetitive strain injury from continued mopping.
If that isn’t an option, simply swapping a standard mop handle for a telescopic pole like the Unger OptilLoc could make a huge difference. Using twist locks, the mop handle can be extended and fixed at any point – making it perfect for use by anybody, no matter how tall they are.
Cordless vacuuming has really taken off in domestic cleaning, with the benefits of not being constrained by a wire massively improving ease of use. The PacVac Superpro 700 Advanced has an ergonomically designed harness to reduce the strain of cleaning whilst simultaneously increasing the physical space which can be cleaned and there are no wires to trip over.
Although cleaning windows seems like it should be a fairly simple task, there’s still the potential for health and safety issues, especially in buildings where the windows are difficult to reach. If cleaners overstretch themselves, lose their balance on a ladder or strain their shoulders, they are at risk of injury.
Alongside using the proper equipment to reach heights, such as stepladders, using a telescopic pole window cleaner such as the Vikan Easy Shine Kit can further improve efficiency, cleaning windows in a fraction of the time that it takes with conventional spray dusting. With the innovative pole system, your cleaner can reach up to 3 metres without stretching – reducing the likelihood of them having to put themselves in harm’s way when cleaning.
Care for your cleaners’ wellbeing
Caring for the wellbeing of your workers doesn’t have to be rocket science. Involving staff in conversations about how their working days could be improved will likely come up with some interesting starting points, resulting in happier, healthier staff that feel listened to at work.