Effective spring cleaning tips

Added February 17, 2021
Someone sweeping

For business owners like you, spring cleaning can be an eye-opening experience. Along with uncovering any old or obsolete items you’ve got lying around, it can help you identify gaps in your risk management process and address safety concerns.

Now is a good time to inspect your facilities, clear the premises of hazards, and reinforce safety messages before the busy season kicks in.

Follow basic housekeeping steps

Here are some basic practices you can put in place (if you haven’t already) to help reduce risks and keep your property tidy. Revisit these year-round and not just during spring cleaning time.

  • Clean up spills: Wipe up things like accidents and water overflow immediately to help prevent falls
  • Organize materials: Stack boxes and displays neatly with heavy or bulky items on the bottom
  • Unclutter walkways: Move plants, displays, and low-hanging items from traffic areas
  • Keep doors closed: Shut cabinet doors and drawers, reorganizing items if needed to get them closed
  • Put equipment away: Store items like garden hoses and tools correctly after use, never leaving them in walkways
  • Keep floors free of clutter: This includes stairs, aisles, and exits
  • Throw garbage out: Properly dispose of waste and scraps in appropriate receptacles
  • Avoid overloading: Don’t overfill bins, racks, or storage areas
  • Observe manufacturer guidelines: Follow equipment cleaning and maintenance routines
  • Maintain good lighting: This helps with visibility and provides a better atmosphere 
  • Protect safety equipment: Keep sprinkler heads and fire extinguishers free of obstructions
  • Check for drips: Make sure pipes and containers that hold hazardous substances are free of leaks

Avoid slips, trips, and falls

Slips, trips, and falls are some of the biggest reasons for injuries and resulting claims—including workers’ compensation—in our industry.

The good news is that you can mitigate these pitfalls by following the simple housekeeping tips listed above. Train your employees on the importance of spotting, reporting, and cleaning up slip-and-fall hazards.

Remind your employees that when they notice something that could cause an injury, take immediate action:

  • Post clear warnings informing customers and employees that floors may be slippery
  • Cordon off the area
  • Clean up or address as soon as possible

One of the common hazards in this business is water. Wet floor signs with pictures are a necessity in areas where water is in use. Present this message in multiple languages if possible.

Have squeegees on hand to push pooling water into the drain or out of the way. In addition, make sure to train your employees to identify and report any algae that may begin to grow, as it’s extremely slippery. Algae is very common with frequent watering, especially when fertilizer is present.

Look outside, too

Your business property is more than just structures. Many of the same hazards found inside can be found outside, too.

Keep materials off of sidewalks and paths and pick up loose materials, such as planters and buckets. This helps reduce accidents, keeps those items from being tossed around during storms, and improves the appearance of your business.

Take cleanup strategies a step further

There are additional actions you can take to help prevent hazards:

  • Perform regular inspections: Assign employees to look for hazards as part of their daily duties
  • Train your employees: Demonstrate proper storage techniques, safe handling of materials, and cleanup procedures
  • Document your efforts: Put what you teach in writing via employee notices, new-hire guides, and company records

Hold regular training sessions and create a safety team to identify any new issues. It can help you avoid costly workers’ compensation and liability claims.

Cleaning up your property and providing a safer work environment can have benefits that extend beyond a reduction in claims. Here are a few examples:

  • Better control of tools and materials
  • Improved hygienic conditions leading to better health
  • Better use of space
  • Reduced property damage
  • Less janitorial work
  • Improved morale
  • Decreased fire hazards
  • Lower worker exposures to hazardous substances

Make sure you have proper coverage

Accidents happen, even with precautions and procedures in place. Be sure you have the proper business insurance coverage in place for your operation.

Our Hortica® representatives can assist you in coming up with a policy for your business, including risk assessments, risk mitigation plans, and safety training. Contact us—we’re here to help.

Related links:

How do you choose the right insurance company for your business? Explore types of coverages, risk management programs, and cost from your prospective provider. Here’s what else you should look for.

Keeping your business safe also means watching out for cyber criminals. Here’s a guide to common cybercrimes and how to avoid them.

Part of your cleanup efforts might include updating your technology. Here are some tips to reuse and recycle your old technology.

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