Industry concept of work safety compliance.

From infection control measures to exterior maintenance personal protective equipment (PPE) expectations and requirements for frontline cleaning staff can change has information evolves and regulations shift over time. Making sure employees not only have the proper equipment on hand, but understand how to use it, it essential to reducing the number of infections, injuries, or other reportable incidents. To help simplify the process, AFFLINK outlined 8 must-haves facility workers to help ensure safety. 

1. Head Gear. Be it window cleaning or needing to clean touchpoints from an elevated position, headgear should always be on hand for employees. Of all deaths caused by injury, traumatic brain injuries count for nearly a third (30 percent) of the total. 

2. Face and Eye Protection: Examples include face shields, eye wash stations, and respirators. For the handling of cleaning chemicals, these tools are essentially vital for frontline crews. 

3. Fall Prevention Equipment: The use of scaffoldings or platforms is required after 4 feet above the ground from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Jobs such as cleaning degreasing units or galvanizing tanks also require fall prevention equipment. 

4. Hand Protection: Each year, over 1 million hospital cases are recorded regarding hand injuries. Of this total, 70 percent of them involved patients who either wore gloves improperly or didn't wear them at all. In healthcare settings, covering up open cuts can be especially critical to prevent injuries or infection. 

5. Hearing Protection: Perhaps more applicable for exterior maintenance or when frontline cleaning crews are nearby construction sites, but hearing equipment such as coverings or plugs can go a long way toward preventing hearing loss — one of ht most common on-site hazards. 

6. Safety Signage: Putting up signage not only serves as a handy reminder to frontline cleaning crews with a lot on their plate to use proper equipment, but it sends a message as a facility that safety is a priority among employees and frontline staff alike. 

7. Back Support: The discussion of ergonomics is a longstanding one in the commercial cleaning industry, notably with carpet care equipment. Through the use of back belts and pneumatic lifts, back injuries can be diminished or prevented entirely through equipment and teaching proper lifting techniques for a variety of different cleaning tasks. 

8. Foot protection. From heavy cleaning machinery to janitor carts, there's always the risk of frontline cleaning crews getting their foot run over or having something puncture it. The use of fiberglass or steel-toe boots can prevent impact and exposure to chemicals, helping to cut down on the 200,000 foot-related injuries reported to OSHA each year. 

In related news, OSHA recently updated its guidance on robotic technology usage for onsite work. Read more on the new parameters here