Using Less Water During Commercial Cleaning Reduces Accidents

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( — January 28, 2013) London, UK — An online poll conducted recently in the UK has found out that using less water during the cleaning process would be the best way to reduce the incidence of slips, trips and falls in public buildings. The research, conducted by a British organisation, surveyed a number of commercial cleaners in an effort to improve health and safety regarding cleaning, especially public spaces.

The poll asked commercial cleaning agents whether they believed that using the amount of water involved in cleaning would reduce the likelihood of non-collision accidents (i.e. trips, slips and falls) in public places, and the majority of professionals (62%) agreed. “Water is in short supply in London,” said a spokesperson for London-based cleaning company CarpetFirst. “It just makes sense to reduce the amount of water professionals use when they clean homes and offices, both from an environmental perspective and from a health and safety perspective.” The problem of water left by cleaners in public buildings was felt to be most significant in hospitals, which usually had hard surfaces (which are most often cleaned by mopping as well as being smooth and easy to slip on) and have a high level of foot traffic. This foot traffic often includes people in a vulnerable condition who may be have delayed reaction times, and the floors of hospitals are also cleaned much more frequently than other commercial spaces.

Unlike other workplace-related accidents, excess water can cause a hazard not just to professional cleaners but also to the general public who use the recently cleaned spaces. “It’s not a good look for you company if your client slips over and gets hurt on the floor you’ve just cleaned,” said the CarpetFirst representative. “We need to be as careful about the health and safety of our clients as we are of our own safety.”

However, reducing the frequency of cleaning is not the answer to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls in the workplace. Other research into workplace health and safety have found that floors, both hard and carpeted, are among the dirtiest areas, and regular cleaning is vital in order to reduce the level of pathogens in the workspace. Floor cleaning is especially important in washroom areas, as well as areas with high levels of foot traffic. Mats can be a good solution in high-traffic areas, as people are less likely to slip on them, but these also require frequent cleaning. Use of warning signs is also an important strategy, as this makes people more aware of the potential hazard.

“Good cleaning technique is the only way to reduce the amount of water used, and you’re only going to get that with properly trained professional cleaners,” said the CarpetFirst representative. “If you just get the office junior to do the janitorial work to save money, he or she won’t do as good a job as someone who’s had the training or accreditation. You may end up paying more for lost work time thanks to an accident, so a professional office cleaner may be better for your budget in the long run.”

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