Part two of this three-part article focuses on new tools to prevent injury.

Although there are several factors that affect injuries, building better tools is a solid starting point for improving the statistics.

“You can teach the proper technique, but you can’t get away from the weight of the water, mop head and handle unless you make some substantial changes,” says Mitchell.

They may be old-school tools, but mops are frequently updated with the latest in high-tech ergonomic innovations. Although some products are still constructed like they’ve always been, most manufacturers are investing in new designs and materials.

Microfiber was an important safety breakthrough in mops. Replacing the traditional cotton string head with a microfiber flat pad reduces the amount of fluid needed for cleaning, and that lowers the weight a user must lift and move.

“With microfiber, you’re never wringing anything out,” says Hemann. “It’s a totally different cleaning protocol than string mops, and it’s much more efficacious.”

It’s important to note that microfiber isn’t always a lighter-weight solution. Wet microfiber mops, like tube mops, typically weigh about the same as traditional string mops. Also, even microfiber requires repetitive motion, so training is critical to avoid injuries.

Tools need to be at the appropriate height for each user. Telescopic handles allow for a custom fit, eliminating the one-size-fits-all approach.

“If you have your toes on the front edge of the pad holder the top of the mop should come right up to your chin,” says Matthew Dufour, director of marketing, Unger Enterprises Inc., Bridgeport, Connecticut. “Higher can cause poor motion and lower can cause stooping over and back issues.”

Although mops get most of the attention, manufacturers are also making improvements to buckets. Bucketless flat-pad mops with on-handle “tanks” eliminate the need for heavy buckets entirely. Where that’s not practical, however, buckets with internal baffle systems can reduce splashing — and related slip-and-fall accidents. Dual-bucket systems that separate clean water from dirty rinse not only help prevent cross-contamination, but they also require less-frequent dumping, which relieves stress on the body.

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Prevent Workplace Injury With Proper Mopping Technique, Tools
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Distributors Can Provide Janitor Training For Mops