Housekeeping Safety Training and Tips

Published on September 19, 2018

Just like quality service training, safety training is in the details! Learn safer work habits from professional trainers. Click To TweetUnderstanding safety in housekeeping is paramount for a successful running of any household, hotel or yacht. Housekeeping techniques, the materials and products used all come with risks and can be potential safety hazards.

It is therefore vital that you, whether you are a practising housekeeper or in charge of/employ housekeeping staff, are aware of the risks and hazards when using products, handling equipment and whilst performing even basic housekeeping tasks.

Being aware of and knowledgeable of safety can mean the different between a smoothly running household, and accidents and injuries for yourself or your staff. The below overview will give you an insight in and tips for safety awareness from general to more advances housekeeping tasks and duties.

General basics of housekeeping safety

  • Suitable clothing
    • Wearing tight closing with lots of zips, big buckled belts or jewellery can damage items you are working with or are around. Imagine being on your knees on a wooden floor and your bulky watch scratching the surface! Make sure you wear appropriate, loose fitted clothing so you can easily move around and refrain from wearing jewellery or bulky belts or other large items that can cause scratching or damage.
  • Heavy Physical work
    • Carrying heavy things up and down stairs like vacuum cleaners can cause damage to your body. Do not lift or move items that are too heavy for one person. You can damage the item, floors and walls as well as your back if you attempt to do this yourself. Get another person to help you when it is necessary to move heavy items. Also wear suitably supported shoes on which you can stand all day – flip flops do not give enough foot/ankle support and can cause you to ache after a long day’s work.
  • Fire/Emergency Safety
    • Be aware of emergency exits, the building’s/house Fire Evacuation Plan. In every house/location you must know where the fire extinguishers are located and how to use them, how to control the fire & security alarms and have a list of who to call in the case of emergency.
  • Children/Animals
    • You must know the amount of children and/or animals that are in/could visit the property you are working in. You must not leave any toxic cleaning products or cleaning equipment lying around for any little fingers or paws to get to! You can also put safety signs up when you are cleaning a room or mark that surfaces might be slippery until dry.

How to avoid slipping/falling during housekeeping tasks

  • Be aware of your environment
    • When stepping into a new room, make sure you look around you to understand the layout and all items present. So that when you are cleaning you will be aware of potential sharp edges, corners, open cupboard doors, etc. Also be aware of unexpected items, such as moving boxes or items that have been delivered and not cleared away yet.
  • Different Surfaces
    • Different types of surfaces might be extra slippery, uneven or delicate. Make sure you scan the room and floor and make sure you understand where you might have to thread extra carefully, such as marble flooring, outdoor areas or polished wood. Also when you clean, buff, scrub or mop an area be aware that the surfaces will be extra slippery until dry.
  • Working at height
    • If you need to use a ladder for any cleaning, make sure the ladder is high enough for you to comfortably reach the area you are trying to get to. If you have to stand at the top step of the ladder it means you have gone too high! Get an appropriate and solid ladder that can stand safely on it’s own.
  • Clear walkways
    • For your own and everyone else’s safety and easy, keep communal passing areas such as hallways, doorways and staircases empty of any unnecessary clutter. Do not leave cleaning equipment in these areas if you are not actively using it, remove items that do not belong there and clean up and delivery boxes. Make sure that extension chords are not in the way and do not pose a tripping hazard.
  • Watch your pace
    • Never run. It not only looks unprofessional, it is a serious safety hazard. Always walk, even if you are in a hurry. The problems of you falling and hurting yourself are much greater than you taking slightly longer to get to the next room safely.

Handling electrics

  • Using sockets safely
    • Never leave electrical cleaning equipment plugged in the socket when you are no longer using it. Take the plug out as soon as you have finished using the piece of equipment and if the plug has a on/off switch then make sure this is switched to off when you are no longer using this.
  • Never mix water and electrics
    • Make sure you are not near any electrical sockets or plugs when handling water. if you are cleaning sockets do not use water and make sure the switch of the socket is turned to ‘off’.
  • Damaged cables
    • Be mindful and know how to recognise damaged cabling. If you see wires exposed you should not use this cable anymore and remove/replace immediately.

Litter and waste management

  • Recycling scheme
    • In every property you work with, be fully aware of their rubbish and recycling scheme. Some properties might have extensive recycling and separation of rubbish in place, others do not. Make yourself aware of the routines and procedures and follow these accordingly.
  • Use gloves
    • Whilst handling any waste or rubbish, you should use gloves both for hygienic and safety purposes. This counts especially for when you are handling uneven, potentially sharp items like glass, or bio/garden waste.
  •  Chemicals
    • Never dispose of chemicals by pouring it down the drain or into a toilet. It is most likely this will have to be disposed of by bringing it to the local tip/waste disposal facility.
  • Biohazard materials
    • You must know what biohazard material is and how to dispose of it correctly. Examples of biohazard materials can be the following:
      • Needles and blades
      • Dry biohazardous waste
        • Contaminated cultures, petri dishes, and other culture flasks
        • Infectious agents
        • Wastes from bacteria, viruses, spores, or live and attenuated vaccines
        • Waste contaminated with excretion, exudates, or secretations from infectious humans or animals
        • Paper towels, wipes, or any other items contaminated with biohazard materials
      • Liquid biohazardous waste
        • Human or animal blood
        • Human or animal blood elements
        • Human or animal bodily fluids or semi-liquid materials

Polo & Tweed Housekeeping Safety Training

Polo & Tweed are specialists in providing Housekeeping Safety training for you, your staff or your household. We provide tailor made Health, Fire and Safety training exactly fitted to your residence or property, Food Safety courses and all specific housekeeping tasks and skills. Why not get in touch with us today to discuss about how we can help with your training needs.

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