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Worst floor-care mistakes — and how to fix them

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Sep 21, 2017

As you consider keeping the floors in your healthcare facility clean and sanitary, remember the following Top 10 worst floor-care mistakes you can make — and how best to fix them.

Mistakes to avoid Corrective actions to take
Beginning a floor-care task without first reading the cleaning product label. Before beginning any cleaning task, your workers should fully understand how to use the chemicals and equipment required for the job. OSHA regulations state that every employee has the right to know about chemical hazards within their workplace. You should post Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) at strategic locations throughout your facility; these sheets should include all pertinent information regarding the cleaning products and chemicals your workers use. Supervisors should be ready and willing to talk to your workers if they have questions about an MSDS or product label.
Using a cleaning product that was not meant for floor-cleaning. Workers should use cleaning products specifically designed for use on floors. They should never mix chemicals, which could cause serious or even fatal injury.
Caring for floors with unprotected hands and eyes Workers should always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to guard themselves against exposure to cleaning chemicals and body fluids. PPE is typically worn when cleaning patient rooms, emergency rooms, operating rooms, rest rooms and any area that contains blood or body fluids, or where chemicals are mixed.Typical PPE items are:
  • Gloves for all contact with blood, body fluids and most body surfaces of patients
  • Gowns or aprons if soiling of clothing is likely
  • Masks if the patient is coughing
  • Eye protection glasses or goggles and masks if splashing, spraying or aerosol dispersion is likely
Being unfamiliar with the standard clean-up procedures for any area where blood or body fluids may be present, such as an operating room, delivery room, morgue, or rest room. Workers should read, learn, and follow OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard with regard to blood and body fluid cleanup. In general, this standard requires you to:
  • Establish an exposure-control plan
  • Update your plan annually
  • Implement the use of universal precautions
  • Identify and use engineering controls
  • Identify and ensure the use of work-practice controls
  • Provide PPE
  • Make available hepatitis B vaccinations to all workers with occupational exposure
  • Make available post-exposure evaluation and follow-up to any occupationally exposed worker who experiences an exposure incident
  • Use labels and signs to communicate hazards
  • Provide information and training to workers
  • Maintain worker medical and training records
Beginning a floor-care project with a poorly stocked cart. Workers should be instructed to review the supply checklist and stock their cart at the beginning of their workday or before performing a floor-cleaning task. Doing so will ensure greater efficiency and productivity—with fewer trips to the stockroom.
Caring for a floor with no “Wet Floor” signs being posted To ensure no one slips on a wet floor, workers should post the proper caution signs before cleaning, and leave them posted until the floor is completely dry.
Being unsure of how to use a floor-care product, but using it anyway Workers should receive training before they use a new cleaning product. Supervisors should be available to answer questions about a floor-care product before workers perform a cleaning task.
Cleaning haphazardly, with no set strategy or pattern Cleaning is a methodical task that is better accomplished by:
  1. Always cleaning from top to bottom
  2. Cleaning from dry to wet
  3. Wiping in a pattern
  4. Cleaning in the same pattern every time

Follow these steps for best floor-cleaning results:

  • Place the Wet Floor sign.
  • Dust mop the floor, collect debris, and deposit in a trash can.
  • With a clean, microfiber mop, damp-mop the floor with the designated cleaning/disinfectant solution.
  • Allow the floor to dry thoroughly before taking down the Wet Floor signs.
Failing to follow the #1 rule for controlling HAIs Set the standard throughout your facility that workers must wash their hands after every floor-cleaning and floor-care task.
Leaving chemicals, cleaning products, or solutions in buckets or on equipment from one day to the next. To keep your environment safe, instruct your workers to:
  • Properly discard unused cleaning products/solutions at the end of their shift or at the end of a workday.
  • Wash equipment at the end of their shift or at the end of a workday.
Work with Betco to implement a floor-cleaning strategy that best suits your organization’s needs. Together, we can ensure that the services you provide add to the well-being of patients, visitors, and staff. With Betco products and services, you can take significant strides in creating a cleaner and healthier environment.