Example risk assessment for general office cleaning Setting the scene Smith’s Cleaners provide commercial cleaning services to businesses, and employ 20 part-time
cleaners. They recently won a contract to clean two floors of an office complex in a city centre, Monday to Friday. Three cleaners, working every day from 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm, machine clean hard floors in the reception, kitchen and toilet areas and generally clean the offices. If a regular cleaner is sick or on holiday, a temporary worker from an agency is used.
The offices have 24-hour security cover.
The contracts manager did the risk assessment.
How was the risk assessment done?
The manager followed the guidance in Five steps to risk assessment (www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.pdf).
1 To identify the hazards, the manager: looked at HSE’s website for free health and safety advice and guidance for the cleaning industry (www.hse.gov.uk/cleaning/) and at guidance for employing agency workers (www.businesslink.gov.uk/); walked the areas where cleaning staff will be working, noting things that may pose potential risks and taking HSE guidance into account; talked to workplace health and safety
Example risk assessment: General office cleaning representatives and cleaning staff about the risks, taking into account the needs of any particular staff members, such as whether they are pregnant or aged under talked to the client company and agreed issues such as:
– lines and frequency of communication between the cleaning company and the client company;
– the client company’s own standard of housekeeping, eg clear walkways, spills cleared up immediately etc;
– facilities and equipment available to the cleaners, including the amount of storage space available, location of sinks and taps etc;
– the system for reporting near-miss accidents and risks discovered by cleaners, eg damaged floor tiles, that can cause accidents in the client company;
– the security of cleaning equipment and substances, to ensure only trained cleaners can access and use them; and
– making sure that all cleaners know what they must do if there is a fire. Enough, the manager wrote down what else needed to be done to control or eliminate the risk.