Preventive Measures and Controls
Mopping and Sweeping Floors (Image)
- Move your feet from side to side. This will help avoid extreme reaches to your left or right and reduce upper body strain.
- Alternate the use of your right and left arm to avoid fatigue. Take frequent, short breaks to help reduce fatigue.
- Bend your knees and keep your back straight while using the mop ringer. This will help keep your spine in the neutral position.
- Avoid lifting heavy mop buckets full of water and pouring them into the sink. Use a hose to drain water or use a floor drain in a custodial closet.
- Alternate the use of your right and left arm to avoid fatigue when vacuuming for long periods of time.
- Wear anti-vibration gloves or use a vacuum with a padded handle to help cut down on vibration.
- Stand upright while vacuuming to help keep your spine in a neutral posture and help avoid lower back pain.
- Carry the vacuum by the handle or at the center to balance the weight.
Cleaning Restrooms and Other Surfaces
- Bend at the knees and not at the waist to help decrease the stress on your back.
- Make sure that the handles of the tools that you will need are long enough the reach most areas. This will help reduce the stress on your back and knees.
- Alternate the use of your right and left hands to avoid fatigue.
- Wear knee pads or a knee rest if you must be on your knees for any length.
Moving Carts with Cleaning Supplies
- Use carts whenever feasible or carry only small quantities and weights of supplies at one time.
- Keep your most-used items closest to you to help avoid long reaches and subsequent strain on the muscoloskeletal system.
- Carts should be pushed and not pulled.
- Use well maintained carts with large, low-rolling, low-resistance wheels for easier maneuvering to help decrease the force needed to move the cart.
- Handles on carts should be at waist height and positioned to allow for neutral postures. Some carts have adjustable handles and may be appropriate when carts are shared between workers.
- Keep your back straight and bend at the knees, not at the waist, while removing trash bags.
- Making more frequent trips with less weight can help lessen the load on your muscoloskeletal system.
- Alternate the use of your right and left hands to remove the trash to help prevent fatique.
- Ask for assistance or use a mechanical aid such as a dolly or cart to remove a heavy trash bag.
- Keep the load to the safe lifting zone above your knees, but below your shoulders.