Musculoskeletal disorders - what are the risks for cleaning staff?

2nd of December 2020 Article by Gianni Gousse
Musculoskeletal disorders - what are the risks for cleaning staff?

Gianne Gousse of Rue de l'Hygiène in France explains how MSDs in cleaning staff can be prevented by paying more attention to the tools and products they use.

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) are "hyper-stressful pathologies". They are amplified when there is an imbalance between an individual's functional abilities. As well as the repetitive stresses that a work posture generates.

The cleaners are our employees most exposed to these disorders. This is a real medico-economic issue to which every company must respond.

We offer three areas for improvement in the user experience of your hygiene employees to adapt your company to these challenges.

First visible signs for maintenance personnel

The first thing is to realize that there are repetitive tasks that could be eliminated or reduced. A lot of effort is generated by the weight of the tools or products carried, by inappropriate posture and gestures.

It is easier to identify the consequences on staff in the long term. The first alerts come with work stoppages that could have been preceded by a period of staff demotivation.

MSDs are common in the hands, shoulders and back. Absenteeism is therefore starting to impact the budget allocated to hygiene. Replacements of personnel of equal competence are difficult. This has the effect of amplifying the budget, not to mention the disruption caused to the service offering of the company. And also the degradation of services perceived by customers.

What are the areas to investigate?

You can analyse three particular areas:

The preparation of the products

What containers are present in my business? 750 ml sprayer only, or five-litre cans only or five-litre can when refilling the sprayers? What movements?

When working with diluted products, the question arises of how to obtain a good dilution and consequently the actions associated with this dilution. There are automatic dilution devices that many hygiene providers may not offer due to their cost. However, if we think about the issue of working conditions in the company, the acquisition of this type of device is actually a very profitable investment. It eliminates handling, improves safety at work, and has a positive impact on the budget.

The preparation of tools and application of product

How do my employees apply the product to surfaces?

For high surfaces, often with a sprayer and for floors, with a trolley and a press or bucket.

The sources of discomfort begin with the use of trigger sprayers. Things get amplified if you apply the product to surfaces instead of applying it to the mops. As for the cleaning of the floor, depending on the level of performance of the equipment in wringing, efforts can be substantial to have a well-prepared mop that will provide a good cleaning result.

It should be noted that a large number of trigger sprayer shots can be reduced by the cloth impregnation method. It is also possible to eliminate the amount of water transported for cleaning floors with the impregnation of
fringes. All this improves the working conditions, the cleaning results, the motivation of the person.

Observation of the cleaning phase

The mismatch between the tool and what you have to clean will generate additional actions, additional efforts, or even additional tasks. Very often we no longer really realise the situation and especially how to imagine that there is another solution that would allow me to simplify all this while respecting the working conditions of my employees, and thus improve the situation.

The mismatch between the product and the type of surfaces can cause, in addition to material damage, additional efforts to compensate for the potential ineffectiveness of the product.

The right approach to tackling MSDs

Consequently, the approach in anticipation of MSDs requires from us a knowledge of all the physical efforts induced by the use of our products and tools. We work tirelessly to optimise our offer so that it perfectly meets the
requirements of professional habits.

For Rue De L'hygiène, optimising these factors involves building a healthy and safe environment for users. This environment, we call it the BPOP [Good Product, Tool, Process] quality charter. All our products, packs and tools respect this charter. So you can be sure that your approach will be totally in line with reducing MSDs.

This environment includes adapted tools, premium support thanks to our comprehensive training videos produced by experts, use protocols which include the dosage, the method of application of the product to be used as well as the tool to be used.

Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited