Employers Safety Responsibilities
Every employer has a responsibility and a duty of care to their workforce to ensure that the workplace is safe. Pleading ignorance is never accepted as an excuse. Employers must invest some time and attention into finding out exactly what a clean and hygienic workplace needs.
The most basic provision is that of a safe and clean workstation. Any high-risk tasks must generate a health and safety risk assessment. Any employees affected must receive appropriate training and be provided with the necessary PPE.
While it might be tempting to ask employees to take care of basic cleaning duties, a professional cleaner will always offer a more thorough service. When you choose to utilise a professional office cleaning company, you no longer need to worry about the hygiene of your office space. Instead, your team can focus on tackling their workload. We explore the importance of maintaining a clean and hygienic environment at work in more detail below:
Must-Haves for Safe Working Environments
Following on from the previous point, as well as a safe place to work staff must always have access to:
- Hot and cold running water
- Flushing toilets
- Toilet paper in the toilets
- Soap for handwashing
- Towels for hand-drying, preferably paper towels for greater hygiene
- Facilities that are properly maintained and regularly cleaned
No member of staff should be asked to clean toilets unless they have had the appropriate training and access to proper equipment. Again, a professional cleaning company can provide fully trained staff, appropriate equipment, and cleaning materials to tackle these necessary tasks.
For the cleaning of communal items and areas, cleaning rotas should be clearly drawn up to fairly spread the burden across all employees. Personal items such as coffee cups and plates should be washed, dried, and put away by the person who used them (or loaded into the dishwasher, should the workplace have one of these.)
These tasks should be thought of as ‘surface’ cleaning – which is continuously maintained throughout the day, taking just a few minutes and not distracting your employees from their jobs – which are, after all, the reason you employed them! Employees can also be asked to keep their work areas as clutter-free as possible (which is recommended anyway for data security reasons!) in order to make it easier for your professional cleaners to get on with the task of sanitising, disinfecting, and deep cleaning the office to ensure that everyone is kept healthy and safe while in the workplace. The following checklists can help your employees ensure that they are doing their bit towards their own protection.
Office Hygiene Checklist
Communal areas like the kitchen and the toilets are the most likely areas where bacteria can gather and diseases spread if hygiene is neglected. As mentioned above, implement a cleaning rota and have people do their own washing up whenever possible. Points to be included on the cleaning rota are:
- Washing plates and cups (if the individual who used did not or could not do it themselves)
- Emptying the dishwasher
- Wiping down surfaces
The cleaning crew coming in later, will take care of the heavier duties of ensuring cleanliness in the office, such as:
- Deep cleaning the work surfaces
- Cleaning the sink: for example, removing any debris, rinsing the sink, spraying sanitiser, and leaving that to dry in place
- Wiping down the handles of the fridge, microwave, dishwasher (if present), and doors to the offices. Handles are actually much more of a risk to your staff than a dirty floor – after all, no one touches the floor with their hands!
- Sweep and mop the floor.
They will also take care of those hidden, out of the way places such as skirting boards, the tops of doors, and behind radiators – places that few people think of cleaning unless they are professionally trained to do it.
Workstations will be cleaned thoroughly. Not just obvious hygiene hotspots like telephones and computer keyboards, but areas such as drawer handles, desk legs, and office chairs too.
Investing in a contract with a professional cleaning service will ensure that you and your staff are always as safe from dirt and disease as possible. Professional cleaners are quick and thorough, fully trained in all aspects of sanitation, and able to ensure a much higher level of cleanliness, providing a safe working environment for employees. Call us today to discuss our commercial cleaning services and see how we can help you.