Have you ever given some though to 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’ jobs for example managing guillotines, presses, angle grinders and bandsaws.
Injuries may be due to dangerous manual handling jobs, and machines and equipment that has not been shut down, de-energised or isolated.
Examples of how these workers are injured include
- keeping an uncomfortable pose for example bending whilst cleaning floors (sweeping, mopping or vacuuming)
- Applying high force to eliminate spots or spills on floorings, seats, machines and equipment or going waste from the range bin to the disposal bin
- supplying equipment or mechanical aids to empower the worker to keep a neutral body posture
- isolating or de-energising machines and equipment
- Providing oversight and training on safe manual management techniques and the way to use or isolate machines or equipment.
WorkSafe has guidance to help you protect the security of the workers who perform cleaning tasks including
- Isolating plant
- Working on plant
- Contractor management
So, as you sit and consider how safe your workplace actually is, make sure you take actions to make them safer and also take account of the cleaning jobs.