Introduction to this document

Office cleaning

Office cleaning is not usually considered to be hazardous and tends to be overlooked when carrying out the risk assessment process - but it shouldn’t be. So use our document to identify what could be dangerous, and what you can do to minimise the risks.

A clean office

Cleaning is not without its risks, especially if it involves the use of machines, such as floor scrubbers or chemicals etc. Hazards left unmanaged could cause accidents and potentially put you on the wrong side of the law.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, you should complete a risk assessment for cleaning in offices, which identifies all “significant” hazards and appropriate “reasonable” ways of reducing risks to an acceptable level.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with cleaning in the office environment and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Office Cleaning. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

Note. If you use a contract cleaning company, ensure that their staff have been briefed on their risk assessments and ask to see copies.

You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could, and more importantly are likely to, cause an accident or injury

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”.

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found in your workplace.