The greatest risk for injury lies in mop handles. Besides the height of the handle, which impacts the ability to control the mop, it can be difficult for smaller users to get a good grip on the shaft of the mops, leading to hand and wrist strain. Adding to the pressure is the weight — a wood handle alone can weigh two pounds or more. 

The resolution to damaging mop handles is twofold: Manufacturers have added a variety of ergonomic, or “smart” features directly to mop handles to alleviate muscle stress and fatigue, and have begun crafting the handles out of lighter materials to increase maneuverability and ease. 

Many mop handles are now made of plastic and lightweight metals. Unlike their solid wooden handle counterparts, contemporary mop handles are smaller in diameter and hollow in the middle, making the tools easier to grip and greatly reducing their weight. Manufacturers have also outfitted the handles with rubber or foam grips to cushion hands on the mop shaft, and on top of the mop handle. Other ergo-friendly elements include the donut-shaped hand rest (which distributes downward pressure to the floor without muscular strain) and rotating or pivoting fulcrums, which allow the mop to move more freely. 

“It allows you to apply pressure, to wash a wall and it supports the mop in your hand,” says Lauer. “You don’t have to grab the mop handle as tight.” 

This notion is also being displayed in a variety of mop handle shapes, including angled versions and “S” shaped models, adds Kerst. 

“We’re trying to get rid of the ‘death grip,’” he says. “Once you move the whole arm you’re not whipping your wrist around and you start using the tools as they were intended. The right handle is essential.” 

Perhaps the biggest change to come to mop handles is that many models are now adjustable. This is especially important for diverse cleaning staffs who share the tools in between shifts, says Ying Zhang, senior brand marketing manager - cleaning, for Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Winchester, Va. 

BSC’s need to make sure they train their workers on how to adjust the handles to the correct height to prevent improper use and injuries. The top of the mop handle should line up with a user’s chin, Zhang says. 

“Selecting the right tool is important,” Zhang adds. “Training the staff on how to properly use them is equally as important.” 


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