Source: WorkSafe Victoria
Marissa Deeble from WorkSafe's Prevention Strategy Division focuses on
the safety of workers who perform cleaning tasks.
Have you ever thought about the safety of the workers who clean your
workshop or office and why are they referred to as the invisible army?
Often we focus on the workers who perform 'high risk' tasks such as
operating guillotines, presses, angle grinders and bandsaws. The workers
who do the housekeeping (including sweeping, vacuuming and removing rubbish
and waste product) or clean the machinery and equipment are equally at risk
of workplace injuries.
Injuries can be caused by hazardous manual handling tasks, and machinery
and equipment which has not been shut down, de-energised or isolated.
Examples of how these workers have been injured include
maintaining an awkward posture such as bending whilst cleaning floors
(sweeping, mopping or vacuuming)
exerting high force to remove stains or spills on benches, floors,
machinery and equipment or moving waste from the collection bin to the
becoming entangled or crushed by moving machine parts.
Most of these injuries could have been prevented by:
providing equipment or mechanical aids to enable the worker to maintain
a neutral body position
isolating or de-energising machinery and equipment
providing training and supervision on safe manual handling techniques
and how to use or isolate machinery or equipment.
WorkSafe has guidance to assist you protect the safety of your workers who
perform cleaning tasks including -
So, as you sit and consider how safe your workplace really is, make sure
you also take account of the cleaning tasks and take action to make them
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