Avoid Slips, Trips, and Falls While Cleaning a Commercial Office Building

Steve Hanson

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In the cleaning business there are many conditions that exist where slips, trips or falls could occur. Keep yourself and others safe by being aware of them:

  1. Mopping or Waxing Floors - When mopping or waxing a lobby, kitchen, copy room or restroom, you are creating a potentially hazardous condition for yourself and others. You are required to put Wet Floor caution signs out in plain sight to warn people who might walk on the floor. It is also a good idea to verbally warn any person who walks on the floor with a courteous “please be careful, the floor is wet".

    You should also practice what you preach. Never hurry across a wet floor, even one that you just mopped yourself.

  2. Cleaning Carpets - When the floor care crew is cleaning carpets they are also creating a possible slip/fall situation - walking from wet carpet to a dry floor. The moisture on your shoes will cause your feet to slide out from under you when they contact a dry surface if you are not aware of the condition.

    Always step from wet carpet to a hard floor with caution.

  3. Vacuum and Other Equipment Cords - Always keep your vacuum cord under control. If you are always aware of how it is laid out on the floor you can avoid tripping over it and injuring yourself. You should also keep your cord as out of the way as possible so that people walking through the area will not trip over it.

  4. Vacuuming Backwards - Do you vacuum backwards out of offices so you leave a nice pattern on the carpet? It looks great, but you must also take care that you don't accidentally back into something or trip over an object on the floor, including your own vacuum cord. Before backing up, look behind you to be aware of potential hazards and obstructions. Do this before you take a step backwards and you will be much safer.

  5. Walking Outdoors - When you are walking outdoors between buildings, or taking out the trash, especially during the winter months, there may be wet or slippery conditions caused by rain or snow that could cause you to fall.

    Always wear shoes with good traction and be aware of sidewalk conditions. Avoid patches of ice and puddles of water whenever possible.

Steve Hanson is co-founding member of The Janitorial Store (TM), an online community for owners and managers of cleaning companies who want to build a more profitable and successful cleaning business.

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