Whenever the Birmingham branch of Minster Cleaning Services agrees to undertake a new cleaning task there are a number of aspects that need to be considered before work can commence.
In this brief article we will examine some of the health and safety considerations when conducting commercial cleaning services. (Please note that this list is not exhaustive and should only be considered as a brief indicator of the depth of consideration).
The site may have specific site safety rules. This condition is particularly found when the branch work with one of their numerous building services contractors. Many of these clients operate from temporary accommodation such as those pictured to the left.
In such areas Minster’s team need to ensure that full visible PPE is worn whenever stepping outside of the accommodations. This PPE would include high visibility jackets, protective head wear, gloves and impact protective shoes.
All of Minster’s operators would be inducted on the safe way of evacuating the site should an emergency arise.
Before starting any cleaning task it is important that the equipment is fit for the function and safe to use. The common electrical equipment the branch uses include vacuum cleaners, carpet cleaners (for both extraction and dry compound carpet cleaning ) and rotary polishing floor care machines (commonly known as buffers). Minster’s trained staff regularly examine the equipment with recorded periodic tests taking place. The periodic tests are conducted by competent electrical engineers.
The cleaning function
The cleaning task should always be planned to ensure that the minimal hazard arises from the cleaning function.
• whether the task can be conducted when no client staff are on site
• If alternative routes around the area being cleaned are available for the client’s staff
• If there is an alternative method that could be used to clean the area
• If the area can be adequately signed (see image to warn of the hazard).
Similar considerations are in place when choosing the chemical used to clean the area. The Birmingham branch is particularly aware that many building users suffer from airborne allergens and, therefore, select their cleaning materials with limited or no odour.
From their own operator’s point of view full training is given in the use of materials and, where necessary, PPE is provided for the safe, long term use of the material.
Third part accreditation
For over ten years the Birmingham Branch of Minster Cleaning Services* has held the prestigious SafeContractor award. This third party reviews the working methods of the branch and assesses them for their safe practice. The award of the certificate provides positive affirmation. Around 30,000 companies are assessed each year by SafeContractor.
The SafeContrator award is part of the SSiP scheme (Safety Schemes in Procurement) and allows potential clients to assess a supplier’s safety capability.
The branch’s SafeContractor certificate number is NC0598.
*Hanley and Jones Limited T/A Minster Cleaning Services