A new online training program for employees and contractors has launched in an effort to reduce the rate of workplace injuries.
The Cleaning Safety Card aims to reduce the rate of workplace injuries by addressing the issues of fatigue, time pressures and unsafe techniques.
The online training program includes exploring fire exits, using a colour coded system for cleaning, optimum vacuuming and mopping techniques, safe use of chemicals and electrical cords, warm up stretches, and risk assessment to reduce injury.
Cleaning Safety Card director, Luke Fox, whose family has been in the cleaning business for 40 years, said the program is necessary in an industry with a transient workforce that in August this year, was declared more dangerous than the construction and mining industries, with the highest rate of injury claims, according to Work Safe Australia.
“It’s appalling that our industry has one of the highest rates of injuries. We want to see the number of falls, trips and slips reduced by at least half by 2020 through a comprehensive program that trains cleaners in industry best practice,” Fox said.
“Cleaners who possess a Cleaning Safety Card will be able to improve their employability and show photo identification, which recognises their knowledge and skillset.”
Figures from 2011-12 show that in one year, an average of more than five injury claims were made every day from commercial cleaners who hurt themselves at work.
Australian Contract Cleaners Alliance director, John Laws, has welcomed the initiative and said standardised guidelines for safe work practice in the industry were overdue.
“The cleaning industry represents 2.5 per cent of the workforce, yet there’s no national framework in place. Every cleaner, every cleaning business, is playing by their own rules,” said Laws.
“Employers who offer the training to their staff could become employers of choice, and potentially lower their insurance premiums as a result in the reduction of injury claims.
“Domestic and commercial clients will also have peace of mind when inviting cleaners into their home or business, knowing they have completed recognised industry training.