Risk assessment is a critical process in any industry to ensure the safety of workers and the general public. In the cleaning industry, there are various risks that cleaning sectors need to identify and address to ensure the safety of cleaners and the people around them. From the handling of chemicals to the operation of machinery, it is essential to carry out a risk assessment before commencing any cleaning task.
Identifying Risks in the Cleaning Industry
In the cleaning industry, there are several risks that need identifying and addressing. These include slips, trips, falls, exposure to harmful chemicals, and musculoskeletal disorders. Other risks include noise pollution, dust, and biological hazards.
According to the Workplace Safety and Health Report 2021 by the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore, the cleaning industry accounts for a significant proportion of workplace accidents in the country. There were 27 workplace major injuries and 769 minor injuries in the cleaning industry. The most common causes of injury are Slips, Trips and Falls, Falls from Height, and Struck by Moving Objects. Besides, the report also revealed that the majority of these accidents occurred during routine cleaning tasks. Therefore, this highlights the importance of risk assessment in preventing workplace accidents.
Conducting a Risk Assessment in the Cleaning Industry
A risk assessment, a subset of risk management, involves identifying potential hazards in the workplace and taking steps to eliminate or minimise the risk of harm. In the cleaning industry, a risk assessment should be conducted before commencing any cleaning task. This assessment should include identifying the type of cleaning task, the equipment and chemicals required, and the potential hazards involved.
One way to conduct a risk assessment is to use a risk matrix, which involves assessing the likelihood and severity of potential hazards. This matrix can help prioritise the risks and determine the appropriate control measures to implement.
Cleaning businesses can refer to the risk assessment template provided by the UK Health and Safety Executive, which helps them keep a record of:
- Who may suffer harm and how?
- What steps have been already taken to mitigate the hazards?
- What further steps are to take to mitigate the hazards?
- Who should and must take the action?
- When should the action be taken?
The Importance of ERP Software in Risk Assessment
In the cleaning industry, the use of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can help solve challenges in risk assessment. Accordingly, it automates the risk assessment process, making it faster and more accurate. With an ERP system, cleaning sectors can capture and analyse data easily with real-time insights into potential risks.
Furthermore, an ERP system facilitates inventory management and ensures the right chemicals and equipment for each cleaning task. Cleaners can track the chemicals and equipment by barcode scanning or LOT/serial number integrated into ERP systems. This prevents accidents caused by using the wrong equipment or chemicals. Moreover, an ERP system also helps track the maintenance and calibration of equipment, ensuring that they are safe and in good working condition.
Additionally, an ERP system can provide training and certification records for cleaners, ensuring that they are trained and qualified to carry out specific cleaning tasks. It contributes to avoiding accidents caused by cleaners who are not adequately trained or qualified for the task at hand.
Risk assessment is a critical process in the cleaning industry to ensure the safety of workers and the general public. Identifying potential hazards and implementing appropriate control measures can help prevent workplace accidents.
Cleaning industry experts may automate their operational procedures with the aid of Synergix Cleaning Solution. The ERP system has capabilities to support workforce deployments, quote budgeting and planning, project scope scheduling, and billing tracking. Integrated with other supporting modules like inventory control, procurement, human resource management, and financial management, Synergix Cleaning Solution is the ultimate tool cleaning companies need to boost the company’s efficiency.