Workplace Safety for Custodians

  High Dusting Tools and Techniques When dusting hard-to-reach places, extend your reach by using lightweight tools with telescoping handles and bendable necks.
Wear eye protection. Bend the neck of the handle to align it with the surface being cleaned. Extend the telescopic handle and step back to improve your neck position. Stand at an angle not directly under the dusting area. Keep your elbows close to your body to minimize overreaching. Work with your hands in front of your body in the area between your shoulders to minimize effort. Wet Mopping Tools and Techniques A wet mop can weigh up to 11 kilograms or 25 pounds when fully saturated. Use a mop with a head that's not too heavy for you to move when wet. Wet mopping can cause significant strain on the low back and contact stress to your hands. Keep your arms close to your body to stabilize your shoulders. Alternate your right and left hands at the top of the mop handle. The mop handle should extend between your chin and eye. The handle should also have a diameter that allows for a comfortable grip. Buckets Handling Tips Filled water buckets and pails are heavy and unstable loads.

Mark buckets with a two-thirds fill line to reduce the weight. Using smaller loads will minimize the effort. You want to keep buckets light enough to carry comfortably. If you need to fill your mop bucket from a wall sink, use a smaller bucket to transfer the water. Use a hose to avoid lifting your mop bucket up and into a floor sink. When lifting, use two hands and keep your elbows at or near your sides. When emptying your mop bucket into a floor sink, use the lip of the sink to cantilever the bucket. Place one hand under the back of the bucket and use the other to stabilize the load as you lift. Have a wide stance, bend your knees, and keep your back straight.

If you need to empty your mop bucket into a wall sink, use a smaller bucket to transfer the load. Again, use the lip of the sink to cantilever the bucket. Wet Mopping Wringing Techniques When ringing a mop, place your foot in front of a wheel to prevent the bucket from moving. Bend your knees and keep your back straight. Face the wringer lever with a straight elbow and use your body weight to push down through the lever. Garbage Handling Tips Don't assume that garbage can or bag will weigh the same each time. Injuries can occur when lifting an unexpectedly heavy or awkward load. You can check the weight of the can by tilting or pushing it. Always test the load before lifting it. Look at the contents of the can for sharp points or protrusions. Bend your knees and keep your back straight as you pick up or lower the bags. Keep garbage bags compact and light if no carts are available.

Have the dumpster placed in a close and convenient location? Roll your cart as close to the dumpster as possible. Dumping garbage bags requires repeated high shoulder lifts with significant force. Avoid twisting and tossing the bag sideways. With your feet and body facing the dumpster, step closer and lift the bag into the dumpster.