Mopping

The Task – mopping surfaces

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
mopping surfaces mopping surfaces
Repetitive or sustained awkward postures, such as mopping surfaces by bending, positioning the elbow away from body, over-extending during push and pull movements and the figure-eight method, excessive wrist bending and twisting. To improve postures and reduce the risk of injury:
  • provide mops with extendable handles
  • train workers in safe work procedures, for example, mopping small sections to avoid extended reaching, and stepping or shifting legs to avoid twisting the upper body.

The Task – mopping under furniture

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
mopping under furniture mopping under furniture
Repetitive or sustained force, such as mopping under furniture by bending, kneeling and reaching. To improve postures:
  • provide mops with extendable handles that can be extended to a suitable length for reaching into areas under furntiure
  • train workers in safe work procedures, for example, adjusting the mop handle by either extending or shortening for easy reach under furniture.

The Task – mopping large areas

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
mopping large areas mopping large areas
Repetitive or sustained movements, such as using inappropriate mop types for the size of floor leading to bending, twisting and reaching. To improve postures, provide:
  • mechanised floor-cleaning machines for medium to large areas
  • bucketless mops, for example, spray mops, for small areas.

The Task – accessing mopping equipment from storage

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
Repetitive or sustained awkward postures, such as accessing mopping equipment from storage areas by reaching and bending. To reduce reaching and bending:
  • provide storage for mopping equipment where it can be easily reached and is unobstructed
  • regularly inspect storage areas to ensure there are no obstructions.

The Task – wringing mops

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
mopping large areas mopping large areas
Repetitive or sustained movements, such as wringing mops using hand squeeze mop buckets by bending and positioning the elbow away from the body. To reduce bending and twisting:
  • provide mechanised floor-cleaning machines
  • provide tall mop buckets, or raise the mop bucket off the floor to reduce the bending force required to wring water
  • train workers in safe work procedures, for example, keeping elbows close to the body.

The Task – picking up objects when mopping

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
picking up objects when mopping picking up objects when mopping
Repetitive or sustained movements, such as bending to pick up an object on the floor (paper, chewing gum etc) before mopping. To reduce bending, provide long-handled litter collectors, for example, a sweeper and catcher.

The Task – lifting buckets

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
lifting buckets lifting buckets
Repetitive or sustained force, such as lifting heavy buckets of water, either once filled or to empty the bucket. To reduce force, provide:
  • disposable cleaning pads for small areas to avoid lifting buckets
  • water taps in a low position on the wall for filling buckets
  • a hose to fill buckets if the water taps are above ground level
  • mop buckets with wheels or on a trolley
  • lightweight mop buckets
  • training in safe work procedures, for example, only half-filling buckets with water, and filling buckets close to where they will be used.

The Task – wringing a mop using a foot pedal

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
Repetitive or sustained force, such as repetitive and forceful pulling of the mop head upwards whilst pressing foot pedal down. To reduce force, provide:
  • a wringer suitable for the mop
  • microfibre mops that are lighter and require less force to wring
  • buckets with foot pedal wringers and a non-slip or grooved foot base, with a wide enough pedal to cover a large area of the foot and reduce pressure points.

The Task – mopping by pushing and pulling

What's the Problem? What's the Solution?
mopping by pushing and pulling mopping by pushing and pulling
Repetitive or sustained movements, such as mopping surfaces by pushing and pulling the mop. To reduce pushing and pulling, provide mechanised floor cleaners for large areas.

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Training Tips

In addition to introducing the controls above, you should also provide adequate or task specific information, instruction and training to workers. Here are some examples:

- how certain practices can increase the likelihood of injury so that cleaners can avoid awkward postures and actions
example: explain how raising the shoulder when using a long mop can increase the likelihood of injury

- performing tasks safely to avoid injury
example: train cleaners to avoid mopping large areas that require over-reaching forwards or sideways

- the reason why appropriate cleaning equipment has been provided, its proper use and maintenance
example: explain that equipment has been provided to encourage neutral postures, and train cleaners on how to adjust the length of mop handles

- a safe work method for cleaning that is specific and designed for the task and workplace where it will be used
example: an example of a safe work method for mopping may include mopping small sections to avoid extreme reaches that require bending and twisting the back.