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Beyond Scrubs: Why the correct workwear is essential for cleaning professionals
In a post-covid climate, where hygiene and cleanliness is at the forefront of everyone's minds, cleaning professionals play a crucial role in ensuring professional standards within businesses are met, and help to keep staff, customers and the general public safe and reassured.
Regardless of the sector in which you operate, whether it be hospitality, medical, retail or an office environment, ensuring that your cleaning professionals have the appropriate workwear to conduct their daily duties is of the utmost importance.
With this in mind, John Johnston, head of e-commerce at renowned workwear provider, Workwear Express, explains the importance of selecting the appropriate workwear. He also explores the details and factors that must be considered when deeming which items of workwear are the most suitable, for those who work within the cleaning industry.
“Consider the job role and safety risks…
First and foremost, the main factors you must take into consideration are the requirements of the role and the potential hazards that your cleaning professionals will be exposed to. For example, cleaning professionals in the healthcare sector, will likely come into contact with hazardous materials.
Consider the risks associated with the day-to-day role when deeming what workwear is appropriate. For instance, if a professional is likely to come into contact with irritants and hazardous cleaning chemicals, short sleeves and trousers will not be appropriate, as the skin must be covered to minimise risk.
If the role ever requires the use of cleaning chemicals such as bleach, a suitable pair of protective rubber gloves must be provided, as well as a mask and eye protection, depending on the environment and the role itself.
Wet floors also pose a safety risk, so ensure that employees have access to appropriate, slip-resistant footwear, to minimise accidents in the workplace.
Consider the quality of materials…
When it comes to selecting appropriate workwear for cleaning professionals, finding good quality items is essential. Cleaning work can be strenuous and physically demanding, so workwear must reflect this and be made from durable, high quality material that will stand up to the daily wear and tear of a strenuous cleaning role.
As uniforms will require washing, it is vital to select a material that is not only durable, but is also easily washable, and won't get ruined quickly from frequent spins in the washing machine. Cotton, polyester, or a combination of the two materials are frequently used for workwear, due to the fact that they are lightweight and breathable, yet will still withstand frequent washing in-between shifts.
In some cases, easily replaceable aprons and tunics may also be a good option to further protect the uniform.
Consider the quantities required…
As well as quality, quantity must be taken into consideration when selecting appropriate cleaning workwear. Given the nature of a cleaning role, it is likely that uniforms will get dirty and will need to be washed daily, and in some cases, may even get damaged, or require replacing completely on a regular basis. This should be factored in when considering the quantity of uniforms that should be supplied for each employee.
When assessing your employees' shift patterns, you must take into consideration that these uniforms must be washed and allowed for adequate time to dry between shifts. Therefore, it is likely that multiple sets of uniforms will be required for each employee, in order to sufficiently meet the needs of their working patterns.
Also, consider that spare changes of uniform should be kept on the premises, should any hazardous chemicals such as bleach or other cleaning fluids spill on employees, meaning that they require a change of clothes available on site.
Following the pandemic, people have more awareness for hygiene and cleanliness of their surrounding environment. By ensuring that your staff are dressed in professional looking workwear, this can help to reassure both the public and employees that the establishment is providing a high quality cleaning service, and that their health and safety is of paramount importance.
Consider personal comfort…
Your workforce uniforms are there to not only keep your employees safe and ensure they look well presented at all times, they must also provide comfort during long working hours.
Cleaning is an extremely active profession, and shifts can often be long and fast-paced. Therefore, as well as durability and providing a professional appearance, they must also be comfortable, breathable, and allow movement with ease. By doing so, this will minimise any discomfort and will enable employees to carry out their duties to the highest standard. Avoid materials and styles that will cause overheating, itching, or restrict movement."
16th November 2023