Cleaners Injured at Work Claims
Domestic cleaners often come into contact with hazardous work environments, meaning the likelihood of an accident occurring to them is much more likely. From slip, trips and falls to coming into contact with hazardous chemicals, health and safety for cleaners has never been so important.
Due to the thorough nature of their job, a cleaner is often required to move and navigate around furniture, tackle stairs while carrying their cleaning equipment, as well as thinking about the health and safety of themselves and others
With a high risk of injury, it is essential that cleaners understand that they can claim for any accident that they sustain which is a result of their working conditions, or lack of training or protective equipment – or even an outright failure to comply with the cleaning health and safety policy.
Common Cleaner Injuries
As part of their duties, cleaners will be required to undertake some manual handling. This could include lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling and relocating items of a variety of weights and sizes.
A Cleaner’s kit will often include items such as floor polishers and vacuum cleaners which require some force to use, and furniture will need to be moved to allow them to complete their duties; these are just some examples of manual handling activity that cleaners are expected to undertake. Along with this comes the risk of injury, especially if the cleaner hasn’t received the proper manual handling training and their work results in them sustaining an injury.
To protect employees who are required to undertake any form of manual handling, Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 are in place to ensure employers are providing training and equipment as required to their employees to avoid injuries caused by manual handling accidents..
Hazardous Products and Chemicals
In order to clean thoroughly and effectively, cleaning products contain chemicals which can be harmful to the employee if it comes into contact with their skin, ingested or inhaled.
Due to the range of strengths, injuries from cleaning chemicals can range from allergic reactions to serious chemical burns and sometimes even long-term health issues such as respiratory decline and related conditions such as asthma.
Employees who come into contact with potentially hazardous substances are protected by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. These regulations stipulate that it is the employer’s responsibility to eliminate hazardous chemical use where possible in the workplace. Should this not be possible, the employer is obligated to train the employees in how to safely use the chemical as well as provide them with the correct protective equipment to reduce the risk of injury, such as gloves, goggles or respiratory protection such as masks.
While working in older buildings, cleaners may be exposed to asbestos in the form of insulation material dust, which the cleaners may not realise is harmful and sweep up, potentially inhaling it.
Health conditions that are associated with asbestos can take years to develop, but as long as the condition can be linked back to exposure to asbestos fibres in some way, a claim can still be made.
It is up to the employer to research the buildings and anything that may pose a risk to the employee.
Depending on the task, the cleaner may be required to clean up sharp objects such as shards of glass in order to fulfill their duties. This puts them at risk of cuts, which can be fatal, or at the very least cause damage to their body.
To combat this, employers must provide all cleaners with cut-resistant gloves to minimise the risk of laceration injury.
Employees are covered by the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, meaning that it is the employer’s responsibility to provide equipment and personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of their employees as they work.
If you are a cleaner and have experienced an injury at work where cleaning health and safety protocol hasn’t been followed and it wasn’t your fault, it is possible that you are eligible for compensation.
To find out how you can start the cleaning injury claims process, contact us today by calling 01772562084 or complete our cleaners injury at work compensation claim form below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.