Manual tasks solutions: Mops and vacuums

Information status

All documents issued prior to 1 July 2017 were issued by the former Department of Commerce. Documents listed here are the latest versions available, but may be subject to review. For more information on this document, please contact online@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

Cleaning tasks are common to most workplaces, however tasks such as mopping and vacuuming can increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries such as sprains and strains due to awkward postures, repetitive actions and excessive force required to lift, carry or move equipment.  The equipment used to clean floors must suit;

  • The layout of the workspace
  • The type and size of surface being cleaned
  • The frequency and timing of cleaning and
  • The physical characteristics of the person using the equipment

Selecting mopping and vacuuming equipment

There are many types of mops and vacuums available and the type of equipment selected for the workplace must suit the work layout, floor surface and contaminants, work organisation and workers using the equipment to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury from mopping and vacuuming. 

What you need to consider when selecting mopping and vacuuming equipment

Factors to consider when selecting a mop, for more specific guidelines see specific mopping and vacuuming guidelines.

Note: Mopping and vacuuming are potentially hazardous manual tasks.  In determining the control measures to implement, the employer must consider all risk factors that may contribute to a musculoskeletal disorder, including: (a) postures, movements, forces and vibration relating to the tasks of mopping or vacuuming; (b) the duration and frequency of the mopping or vacuuming tasks; (c) workplace environmental conditions that may affect the tasks or the worker performing it; (d) the design of the work area; (e) the layout of the workplace;  (f) the systems of work used; and (g) the nature, size, weight of items used to perform the mopping or vacuuming.

WorkSafe
Fact sheet
Last updated 20 Oct 2016

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