Spring cleaning gives workplaces an opportunity to deep clean every area of a premises and bring some fresh sparkle to places that may have been neglected in the dark winter months.

This big clean is more than a question of getting all the cleaning products out of the store cupboard. It’s also a chance to review and improve workplace operations, from how you provide a clean and safe environment and look after cleaners and other end users, to better sustainability and best practice.

Here are five questions every workplace should ask to make the spring clean a much more valuable exercise:

1. Prevent cross contamination

Have you got the right coloured gloves, cloths and mops for each area?

Checking that colour coded cleaning is in place will help to eliminate the spread of germs and bacteria from one area to another, and help to reduce illness in the workplace. This system improves hygiene by specifying the use of different coloured equipment for the kitchen, washroom and general areas.

The four main colours used are blue for general low risk areas, green for kitchens and food service areas, red for washrooms and yellow for isolation areas.

2. Safeguard end users

If you have chemical cleaning products, have you got their safety data sheets and the right personal protective equipment?

Safety data sheets provide information to help users of chemicals make a risk assessment. They describe the hazards the chemical presents, and give information on handling, storage and emergency measures in case of accidents.

Protective equipment and uniforms should be provided to end users free of charge by their employer. This should include a face mask and goggles if they need to use chemicals and an apron to wear if they’re required to dilute chemicals.

3. Protect your environment

Are you using anti-microbial or anti-bacterial ingredients only where recommended?

Using chemical or biological means to control unwanted viruses, bacteria or fungi is an integral part of cleaning healthcare and food preparation environments. But biocides should only be used where they’re most needed and not in all cleaning situations.

This is because anti-bacterial or anti-microbial products cannot destroy all bad bacteria, leaving some behind that become resistant to chemicals and antibiotics. Some residues of chemicals can also reach our bodies, through the water supply, food or antibiotics, where they can kill the good bacteria in our intestines as well as the bad bacteria.

A good approach could be appropriate use of chemicals in healthcare, food preparation and animal environments and chemical free options for everywhere else.

4. Think cost in use

Have you assessed the cost in use of your cleaning products?

Your cleaning products supplier could help you find out if you’re incurring unnecessary cost at either end of the spectrum. This could range from un-used cleaning supplies lying in cupboards, to products that the cleaning team use twice as fast as another.

If end users are getting through one product in half the time of another slightly more expensive product, then your cleaning supplies will be costing you more than they should.

5. Trial products

Do you keep an eye on cleaning innovations that could be just what your workplace needs?

Look for free samples from your supplier. VOW provide these readily to enable resellers and end users to trial products before they purchase on a larger scale.

For more insights follow us on www.twitter.com/VOWEurope or join us on www.linkedin.com/company/VOWEurope.