Special supervisory efforts in the cleaning industries in 2021
From 1 February 2021, the Danish Working Environment Authority will lead a special supervisory effort in the cleaning industries with a focus on ergonomics. In addition to the special focus, we also look broadly at the working environment in the company during the inspection visit.
When the Danish Working Environment Authority performs an inspection, we will be touring the company to check whether you live up to the working environment rules. During the tour, we focus on the working environment problems that are relevant to your company based on the work processes you perform.
We have compiled an overview of some of the ergonomic problems we encounter in your industry and the solutions that can be used to prevent the problems.
Identify the problems
Ergonomic strains can occur if your employees perform many tasks during which they:
- Lift and carry heavy tools, waste or furniture;
- Bend or twist their backs, e.g. when cleaning stairs or machines;
- Works with their arms above shoulder height, e.g. window cleaning;
- Strains their body physically, e.g. when cleaning large areas with a mop or vacuuming.
Prevent the problems
Most ergonomic problems can be prevented with good planning, instruction and by using aids:
- Switch between work tasks that strain the body differently;
- Instruct employees in good work techniques and in using aids;
- Make sure that the instructions are followed;
- Use aids to limit poor working positions, e.g. with shafts that can be adjusted to the height of the employees;
- Use technical aids, e.g. floor washing machines when cleaning large areas.
How we supervise the ergonomic working environment
During our inspection visit, we examine work tasks that can strain the employees:
Working positions and movements
During an inspection visit, we assess whether the employees' working positions and movements over time can be exhausting. Inappropriate working positions are, for example, when the employees work with their arms raised above shoulder height for a long time or if they work with the back bent over for a long time or repeatedly. Use our guide to get an overview of the rules in this field.
During the visit, we examine whether the employees are tasked with heavy lifting and under what conditions they perform those lifting task. We investigate what the employee lifts on and whether aids can be used to prevent unnecessary strain on the employees. Use our guide to get an overview of the rules in this field.
Working processes that strain the same part of the body
During an inspection visit, we assess whether the employees perform work that is one-sided and straining throughout large parts of the working day. The risk of injury is greater if the employees use force, work in poor working positions, or if the work requires precision and concentration. Use our guide to get an overview of the rules in this field.
Industry guide on ergonomics and cleaning in Danish