Keeping safe and clean workspaces – 5 focus areas for cleaning and safety
Safe, clean workspaces – what matters this European Week for Safety & Health at Work?
Everyone deserves a safe and healthy work environment – but workplace health and safety isn’t only about things like risk assessments. The very mundane and essential cleaning activities that every workplace undertakes are directly related to workplace safety and health.
So, to celebrate European Week for Safety and Health at Work, we’re bringing you 5 important things to consider to ensure you have a clean, safe, and healthy environment for your staff.
[Have you read our previous article on the theme? Check out How smart cleaning and hygiene choices contribute to occupational health in the workplace]
1 – The digital workplace
This year’s theme is Safe and Healthy Work in the Digital Age, so we’re asking, how long is it since your tech was cleaned? Keyboards and phones are breeding grounds for germs – and that’s not to mention the earphones and microphones we rely on for calls and meetings online. Asking your visitors to sign in on a touch screen? Make sure these all get a regular deep-clean – and you could do worse than making sure sites and individuals are well equipped with an effective sanitiser and a stock of blue roll or microfibre cloths.
They may not all be digital (yet) but factory equipment can also accumulate dust, grease and germs, as well as residues from production processes themselves. Regular cleaning by appropriately trained individuals is key – with particular attention paid to using the appropriate cleansers, since the wrong chemicals can be damaging or create hazards.
2 – Shared zone safety
Entrances, hallways, lifts, and stairs are high traffic areas – everyone walks through them. That means there’s plenty of opportunity for grime to build up on surfaces and in corners. It’s easy for germs to spread through high-touch areas. Get your cleaning team in throughout the day, not just after hours, and provide the right PPE to keep them safe and healthy, just like your workplace.
Don’t forget windows and doors: wherever there are opening windows, make sure your cleaning team include the catches and handles in their surface cleaning routines, just as they would touch plates and door handles.
Breakrooms are another potential breeding ground. Food residues, spills or uncleaned dishware can be a problem. Have appropriate organisation systems and cleaning supplies for staff to tidy up after snacks and meals, backed up by regular management checks and a clear set of expectations for evening or overnight cleaning teams.
3 – Working toward less waste
In a digital age, there might be less paper around in an office setting, but there’s still plenty of waste throughout every workplace.
As a responsible business, it’s important to minimise your impact on the environment, so choose sustainable options wherever possible – that means chemicals with a lower environmental impact such as this super concentrate range, FSC certified paper products, and compostable catering disposables like Vegware plates and cups. Once waste is generated, make sure it’s handled properly – sorted and removed promptly to keep things safe and healthy in your workplace.
4 – Sustaining safe storage
Good storage and management of cleaning products is essential to avoid creating additional hazards, even as you make efforts to maintain a clean workspace. That means procuring safe and effective products, then keeping products in a specific and clearly labelled location or locked cupboard. There are some products that could be flammable or corrosive in the wrong context, so these must be carefully controlled. Ensure that your janitorial product supplier provides Safety Data Sheets for every relevant item, so you can keep them easily accessible if required due to an accidental spillage, usage, or actual harm to an individual – including allergic reactions.
Giving good safety advice and full information about all products is something that Avanti takes incredibly seriously – we make SDS information effortlessly available right in our eCommerce shop.
5 – Working washrooms
Well-maintained toilets make a huge difference to a workplace, and if not cleaned and stocked regularly can rapidly become a health and hygiene hazard for staff and visitors.
A well-stocked supply of soaps and consumables, appropriate drying solutions such as a quality paper towel and good air fresheners are essential. They need regular cleaning and supply checks, with bins emptied often to avoid any risk of overflows. These are back-to-basics practices that should never be ignored – fresh and sparkly clean loos keep everyone safe and healthy, and create a good impression for the whole business.
European Week for Safety and Health at Work runs every October. It’s an ideal time to talk to your teams about how they can help maintain a clean and healthy workplace, and to bring in best practice to support your cleaning teams.
Need any help? Avanti is always happy to help new customers to raise their game and create safer, cleaner workspaces. Get in touch with Avanti today.