Part two of this three-part article focuses on ergonomics and storage of janitorial carts.

One of the biggest challenges cleaning crews face is the ability to fit a growing number of supplies and equipment onto the cleaning cart — all without sacrificing maneuverability or operator safety. As a result, ample storage, multiple compartments and removable caddies are a few of the accessories on building service contractors’ wish lists.

“Manufacturers have answered that call for more design and engineering around these carts,” says Dan Dillon, president of CleanItSupply, Jeffersonville, Pennsylvania. “Features like grommets to hold poles for secure mobility, handle hooks to hang safety signs, brooms, and dusters … being able to accessorize the carts and travel safely is a huge convenience.”

Folding platforms are another popular trend on cleaning carts because they maximize storage space without increasing the size of the cart.

“Space is usually at a premium inside facilities, so one of the options many [users] look for on carts is folding parts,” says Dillon. “A lot of carts have hinged bottoms that fold up so you can get through a doorway and minimize your cart’s footprint in storage spaces.”

When opened, these carts can be used to carry vacuum cleaners, trash barrels, mop buckets and wringers, as well as a host of other equipment needed to get the job done.

In addition to maximizing storage space on carts, building service contractors’ top priorities are the comfort and safety of their staffs. Many of today’s carts feature ergonomic designs that address user safety with features such as adjustable handles and zippered bags to collect trash or linen.

“Ergonomics is a big issue,” says Attman. “There are zippered trash bags that allow you to remove the trash from the side rather than pulling it up and out. Carts are also lighter and easy to maneuver, which can help reduce workers’ compensation claims.”

Even the cart’s wheels can be customized to improve stability and maneuverability, depending on the cart’s size and load. Some may opt for a combination of locking wheels and swivel wheels for heavier loads, while others may choose to have all caster wheels for lighter loads and greater maneuverability.