Before starting any Housekeeping job, be sure you have visited the space and are aware of the possible health and safety hazards. Speak to your clients and ensure you have access to the tools you need to safely perform what has been asked of you.
To get you started, Housekeeper.com has comprised a list of potential health and safety hazards a housekeeper should be aware of while on the job.
Common health and safety hazards:
Chemicals commonly found in cleaning products. Cleaning solutions made up of harsh chemicals can cause skin and eye irritations if the proper protection isn’t used when being handled.
Exposure to bodily fluids and blood. You may come across dirty bandages, solid sheets, or diapers while cleaning around your client’s space or taking out their trash.
Injury resulting from heavy lifting and performing repetitive tasks. Correct form is important when lifting, and brief stretching breaks are excellent ways of keeping your body from becoming sore.
Injury from falling, tripping or slipping. Be mindful of slippery floors, children’s toys, and the family cat!
Working with sharp objects or hazardous tools. Take the proper safety precautions when using sharp tools, retrieving a casserole from the oven, or ironing the laundry.
Preventative measures to take when visiting a potential workplace and getting ready for any cleaning job:
- Do you have access to the proper equipment needed to safely and comfortably complete the services required of the job?
You will need to keep your hands protected with gloves when using chemicals and wash them often to reduce the spread of germs or infections you may encounter.
Dress in comfortable, breathable attire, so you can freely move around your workspace without clothing restrictions while keeping your skin covered.
- Is there a first aid kit in your workplace, and can you quickly access it? If not, ask your client to get one for their home and be sure it is easily accessible to you in case you need it.
- Be up-to-date with current training on chemical hazards, WHMIS and SDSs.
- Educate yourself on proper lifting techniques and make sure you are always practicing them when lifting.
If you are performing repetitive tasks, be sure to take small breaks every 30-60 minutes. During your breaks, walk around and perform simple stretches.
For some simple hand and wrist stretches you can perform on the job, click here.
Before starting any job, it is essential to create safety procedures with your clients and include them in your contract. Tell your client right away if you or someone else has been injured on the job or if a homeowner’s belongings get broken. Keeping open, ongoing communication with your clients is key to staying safe!