Saying goodbye to the cord does more than boost productivity. It also dramatically improves safety in a building by lowering the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Janitors or building occupants can easily trip and fall over the cord lagging behind a traditional vacuum.

“When you’re cleaning an office space there’s a good chance you’re plugging and replugging that corded product in at least six times for every office space,” says Michael Cooper, marketing manager, Tornado Industries, Fort Worth, Texas. “Every time you do that, there’s a chance you or someone else will trip over it, or it will bump into something knock it over.”

In 2015, slips, trips and falls accounted for 27 percent of the total amount of occupational injuries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These accidents cost U.S. employers $18.4 billion annually, according to Liberty Mutual Insurance. This figure doesn’t include potential fines or expenses associated with finding and training replacement workers while injured employees are out or on restricted duty.

Also, should a building occupant or visitor have an accident, the potential costs for medical and legal fees are unlimited and can add up quickly.

Eliminating the need for cones or signs to cordon areas for vacuuming — or, worse, two-person teams for cleaning and watching the cord — is a big selling point, says Cooper. Reducing slips, trips and falls appeals to most end users, particularly facilities with older occupants or a lot of visitors.

Cord issues, coupled with the battery upright’s low decibels, also make it a good choice for operations using day cleaning or those that are open 24/7.

Hospitals, senior living and nursing homes, casinos, commercial office spaces, and churches are all great markets for cordless uprights, say manufacturers.

The cordless upright is also of interest to universities and other facilities with gymnasiums and auditoriums with a lot of seating, says Cooper. While a wide-area vacuum makes more sense for the open spaces, the battery upright can get in and out of chairs and other tight spaces quickly.

The machine also interests building service contractors and housekeeping and custodial managers who aren’t interested in having their janitors spend a lot of time on detail work, says Pease. Spaces where frequent surface work matters most, such as high-traffic public areas, the cordless upright can be an easy sell.

“When you do detail work, your vacuum is running and you’re stopping to do high dusting or edging with the on-board tools,” says Pease. “Most people who are buying these don’t want their people stopping to do detail work. They want high productivity from their people. They to use the battery run time on surface cleaning and don’t want their people stopping to do detailing.”

Finally, cordless upright vacuums eliminate the hassle and backache of “throwing that cord over your shoulder” as a janitor moves around a building, says Mitchell. Adopting this technology can translate into increased job satisfaction, she says, which appeals to managers hoping to keep employees happy and turnover low.

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