As in many professions, and especially in the construction field, cleaning activities sometimes require working at height. Cleaning hard-to-reach places involves risks that must be accompanied by preventive measures implemented according to the realities of the cleaning site. It’s precisely because cleaning at height – and cleaning in general – involves risks that this task has become professionalized.
The Precautions to Take to Reduce the Risks of Cleaning Hard-To-Reach Places
The precautions to be taken to reduce the risks associated with cleaning hard-to-reach surfaces must be implemented every time a cleaning professional intervenes, according to the location, the surface to be cleaned, the establishment, and its characteristics.
- To clean high glass surfaces, you should use suitable equipment, such as telescopic poles, personal lifts (buckets), or individual rolling platforms. All this equipment must also be inspected regularly, paying special attention to its condition and stability.
- To clean at heights with a risk of falls, it may also be necessary to equip workers with protective slip-resistant shoes and protective body shells in case of specific danger.
- For the highest heights (over three metres), the worker in charge of the cleaning must also wear an anti-fall safety harness and be accompanied by another person in case of problems. Two people will therefore be required to carry out a cleaning task at a height of more than three metres.
- For any cleaning at height that poses risks, a professional cleaning company must ensure the medical fitness and practical ability of its employees to perform these tasks.
Attention: Any cleaning job at height also requires inspecting the condition of the ground so that an accident doesn’t occur because of the danger present in the ground while cleaning at height. The protections to be taken regarding cleaning at height are essential, especially when it comes to cleaning windows. This represents the highest rate of accident risk, even at a low height. That’s why you shouldn’t skimp on prevention and eliminate any equipment unsuited to working at height, such as:
- Pieces of furniture such as step ladders, chairs, tables, and stools not designed to secure cleaning work at height
- The structure or elements of a building (façade, staircases, etc.) that are not designed to be able to support the weight of a person performing a cleaning task and which cannot ensure their safety.
In terms of numbers, falls from height represent more than 10% of all accidents in the professional cleaning field. Cleaning companies must follow the rules that require them to use the necessary equipment to prevent the risks related to height, and they’re also required to maintain and inspect this equipment to keep it in a state of compliance.
Finally, for any cleaning work at height, the first precaution to take is to entrust this task to professionals – that is, to a company specializing in cleaning and familiar with ensuring an optimal level of safety for its employees according to the location and its characteristics. Indeed, domestic accidents related to falls are becoming increasingly numerous and can unfortunately quickly disable a person for the long term. Whether it’s a post-construction cleanup, a big spring cleaning in a residential building or shop, or regular window cleaning, leave it to the professionals!