CPPCLO3003 – Plan and prepare to work Copy

CPPCLO3003 – Plan and prepare to work Copy


Topic Audio

Element 1: Plan and prepare to work

1.1 – Work instructions, including client and environmental requirements, are obtained, confirmed, and applied to planning

By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:

Obtain work instructions, including client and environmental requirements

Confirm work instructions and requirements and apply to planning.

Obtain work instructions

Before you start the cleaning process, you will need to obtain and confirm work instructions, including client and environmental requirements, and apply them to the planning. Depending on the organisation, there may be specific instructions and requirements you will need to follow to ensure the cleaning methods used are safe and effective for the workplace and environment. If there is anything you are unsure about or if any of the instructions provided are unclear, you should clarify and discuss it with the client before proceeding. Make sure you record the instructions and any other important details so you can refer back to your notes if you encounter any problems in the future. This is important to ensure you can create an effective plan for completing the cleaning task.

Work instructions and requirements could include:

  • The areas that require cleaning and specific ways to clean them
  • Types of products to use that are suitable for different floors and surfaces
  • Types of products to use that are safe and environmentally friendly
  • The days and times that the cleaning is scheduled for
  • How to make people aware cleaning is in progress, for example, the signs and barriers that should be put up in different areas
  • How to maintain slip resistant properties of floors and avoid build-up of product
  • Using cleaning equipment and products that are suitable for the task and environment.

Modified from source: Work Safe Queensland, Cleaning: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/workplace-hazards/slips-trips-and-falls/cleaning.

1.2 – Work site and nature of cleaning task are assessed for hazards, and risks are controlled according to company, legislative, and health and safety requirements

By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:

Assess work site and cleaning tasks for hazards and risks

Conduct risk assessment to identify and control potential risks

Control risks according to company, legislative, and health and safety requirements.

Assess hazards and risks

Hazards are anything that could cause harm or injury to people in a workplace, and risks are how likely the hazards are to cause harm. The type of hazards that could occur during cleaning will vary depending on the organisation. Health and safety should be the number one priority, so it is vital to identify and assess all potential hazards prior to starting the cleaning job.

Hazards and risks could include:

  • Biological and environmental contaminants
  • Chemical exposure via absorption, ingestion and inhalation
  • Chemical reactivity
  • Dust and fibre particulates
  • Electrical
  • Environmental allergens
  • Explosions
  • Fatigue
  • Fire
  • Manual handling
  • Noise
  • Poor ventilation
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Syringes and sharps
  • Working in confined spaces.

It is important to spend time assessing potential workplace hazards to help prevent accidents occurring during the cleaning process. Taking the time to assess each hazard will also enable you to develop a contingency plan to minimise the impact of incidents.

How to identify workplace hazards:

  • Explore the worksite beforehand and look out for potential hazards
  • Speak with colleagues, managers and supervisors
  • Read organisational policies and procedures, and codes of conduct
  • Familiarise yourself with Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation, and industry regulations
  • Familiarise yourself with federal and state government regulations
  • Acquire and read incident and hazard logbooks
  • Research in-house statistics and data relating to incidents, hazards and risks
  • Research Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) websites
  • Attend training days, workshops, seminars, conferences and other events
  • Read newspapers, magazines and journals relating to WHS.

In order to assess workplace hazards effectively, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the hazard itself?
  2. Where is the hazard located?
  3. How many times, on average, do specific incidents occur as a result of the hazard each year?
  4. When, and under what circumstances, do these incidents tend to occur?
  5. Who is most likely to be affected by the hazard?
  6. What risks does the hazard pose, such as injury, illness or infection?

Implementing risk controls

Risk controls are measures that can be put in place to minimise the impact of hazards and risks in the organisation once they have been identified. You should implement risk controls as soon as possible while you are waiting for long-term solutions for any problems occurring. It is a good idea to collaborate with colleagues when implementing risk controls to gather their thoughts and ideas and make sure they are happy with them before putting them in place.

Risk controls could include:

  • Informing employees of risks
  • Eliminating potential hazards in the workplace
  • Making sure certain areas are sealed off for cleaning, using signs or barriers
  • Preventing access to certain hazards and areas of risks
  • Organising work to reduce exposure to hazards
  • Issuing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets, gloves, coats and boots
  • Employing health and safety trained professionals
    • Establishing facilities, such as wash stations
    • Emergency response procedures
    • alarm systems
    • evacuations
    • designation of assembly points
    • lockdowns
    • sheltering
  • Environmental control measures:
    • clean-up, containment and isolation procedures
    • emergency chemical spill control measures
    • hazardous materials handling
    • use of low-energy and low-moisture cleaning methods
    • using energy efficient equipment
    • use of non-chemical cleaning methods
    • scheduling noisy activities for appropriate times of the day
    • using noise-reducing equipment
    • disposing of waste using the correct methods
    • locating chemical storage areas away from vegetation and water sources
    • using resources efficiently, such as labour and equipment.


It is important that you abide by Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation in your state or territory, and understand your rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation replaced Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation in 2011 to establish a more consistent approach to work health and safety legislation. Under this legislation, employees are obliged to ensure that they work safely and do not endanger the safety of their colleagues, clients and others. In order to work safely and legally in your role, you should have been trained to do so by your organisation as a legal requirement.

In Australia, WHS legislation varies across states and territories:


State Legislation
Australian Capital Territory Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (regulated by WorkSafe ACT)
New South Wales Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (regulated by SafeWork NSW)
Northern Territory Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011  (regulated by NT WorkSafe)
Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (regulated by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland)
South Australia Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (regulated by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland)
Tasmania Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (regulated by WorkSafe Tasmania)
Victoria Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (regulated by WorkSafe Victoria)
Western Australia Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (regulated by WorkSafe Western Australia)


WHS legislation stipulates that employers must provide their staff with:

  • Safe premises
  • Safe machinery and materials
  • Safe systems of work
  • Information, instruction, training and supervision
  • A suitable working environment and facilities.

Source: Australian Government, Workplace health & safety: https://www.business.gov.au/info/run/workplace-health-and-safety.

Safe Work Australia

Safe Work Australia was established by the Safe Work Australia Act 2008. It is a tripartite national body with the responsibility to lead the development of work health and safety policy across Australia.

Safe Work Australia consists of the following members:

  • An independent chair
  • Members representing the Commonwealth and each state and territory
  • Members representing the interests of workers
  • Members representing the interests of employers
  • The Chief Executive Officer.

The key functions of Safe Work Australia (as set out in the Safe Work Australia Act) are to:

  • Develop national policy relating to WHS and workers’ compensation
  • Prepare a model Act and model regulations relating to WHS and, if necessary, revise them:
    • for approval by WRMC (Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council), and
    • for adoption as laws of the Commonwealth, each of the States and each of the Territories
  • Prepare model codes of practice relating to WHS and, if necessary, revise them:
    • for approval by WRMC, and
    • for adoption as codes of practice of the Commonwealth, each of the States and each of the territories and made under laws of those jurisdictions that adopt the approved model WHS legislation
  • Prepare other material relating to WHS and, if necessary, revise that material
  • Develop a policy, for approval by WRMC, dealing with the compliance and enforcement of the Australian laws that adopt the approved model WHS legislation, to ensure that a nationally consistent approach is taken to compliance and enforcement
  • Monitor the adoption by the Commonwealth, states and territories of:
    • the approved model WHS legislation as a law of those jurisdictions
    • the approved model WHS codes of practice as codes of practice of those jurisdictions, and
    • the approved WHS compliance and enforcement policy as a policy of those jurisdictions
  • Collect, analyse and publish data or other information relating to WHS and workers’ compensation in order to inform the development or evaluation of policies in relation to those matters
  • Conduct and publish research relating to WHS and workers’ compensation in order to inform the development or evaluation of policies in relation to those matters
  • Revise and further develop the National WHS Strategy 2002-2012 released by WRMC on 24 May 2002, as amended from time to time
  • Develop and promote national strategies to raise awareness of WHS and workers’ compensation
  • Develop proposals relating to:
    • harmonising workers’ compensation arrangements across the Commonwealth, states and territories, and
    • workers’ compensation arrangements for employers with workers in more than one of those jurisdictions
  • Advise WRMC on matters relating to WHS or workers’ compensation
  • Liaise with other countries or international organisations on matters relating to OHS or workers’ compensation, and
  • Perform such other functions that are conferred on it by WRMC.

Source: Safe Work Australia, About Safe Work Australia: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/about/pages/about

Health and safety requirements

It is important that you are aware of the health and safety requirements in your workplace and follow these at all times to ensure you are working safely. Health and safety requirements are put in place to control risks in a workplace and make it a safer environment for everyone. If you are unsure what the requirements are, you should contact your supervisor to find out.

Health and safety requirements could include:

  • Access to communication devices when working alone
  • Complying with Safe Work Australia regulations
  • Emergency response procedures
  • Environmental controls
  • Using hazard signs and barricades
  • Health and safety induction and refresher training
  • Manual handling techniques
  • Processes for safely dispensing chemicals
  • Risk assessment procedures, including:
    • hazardous chemicals register
    • hierarchy of control
    • job safety analyses (JSA) for low-risk situations
    • safe work method statements (SWMS) for high-risk situations
    • incident reporting
  • SDS (safety data sheets for chemicals)
  • Selection and use of required PPE
  • Storage and maintenance of equipment according to manufacturer specifications
  • Use of first aid according to SDS information.

Source: Australian Government, Workplace health & safety: https://www.business.gov.au/info/run/workplace-health-and-safety.

1.3 – Cleaning tasks to be conducted at heights are identified and required access equipment is identified, obtained and prepared

By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:

Identify the cleaning tasks to be conducted at heights

Obtain and prepare suitable access equipment required for the task.

Cleaning at heights

When conducting cleaning tasks at heights, it is important to be very careful and aware of your surroundings to prevent any accidents. Falling from any height can be extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury or death. A fall hazard is an object or circumstance that will increase the risk of a fall, so before you start the cleaning task, it is important to eliminate or reduce the effect of any identified fall hazards. A risk assessment should be carried out before the work is undertaken to ensure it is safe and all hazards have been considered. It should highlight the measures that need to be taken to ensure people are not at risk of falling from heights.

You should follow the steps below to conduct the risk assessment:

  1. Identify the problem (hazard identification)
  2. Determine how serious a problem it is (assess the risks)
  3. Decide what needs to be done to solve the problem (eliminate or control risks)
  4. Review the risk assessment process and control measures to ensure risks are still addressed.

Identify access equipment

Injuries sustained from falls are usually due to falls from equipment, such as ladders, platforms, scaffolds and stairs, etc. so you will need to ensure that you use suitable and secure equipment for the task and make sure it isn’t damaged or faulty. It is vital that all access equipment used is properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis to ensure it is fit for the purpose and safe. Anyone erecting and using the equipment must also be trained and competent to do so.

Different types of access equipment that may be required:

  • Elevated work platform:
    • must only be used on a level, firm ground
    • only use it with outriggers and stabilisers
    • there should be a trained operator at ground level
    • safety harnesses must be worn while on the platform
    • keep the platform within safe working limits and radius, taking wind speeds into account.
  • Ladders:
    • should only be used for access or work of a short duration
    • should be erected at the correct angle (4 up to 1 out)
    • must be positioned close to the work to avoid over-reaching
    • the base of the ladder should also be protected to prevent people bumping into them or something knocking them over
    • do not use to perform difficult or hard to reach tasks, or on uneven surfaces
    • do not use in wet conditions.
  • Scaffolding:
    • should only be erected by a competent person
    • should have a height to base dimension ratio not exceeding 3 to 1 indoors, or 2.5 to 1 outdoors
    • will need to have stabilisers deployed as necessary to meet the correct height to base ratio
    • you will need to use outriggers or stabilisers if it is above 5 metres high
    • all casters should be firmly locked before use
    • there should be ladder access to the working platform
    • it should never be moved while the tower is occupied
    • should be regularly inspected and maintained by a competent person to make sure it is safe to use
    • inspections on the scaffold and its supporting structure should take place after any incident that could affect its stability, such as a severe storm, after any repairs have taken place, and at least every 30 days.
  • Stepladders:
    • should always be spread to the full extent and locked
    • should not be used on the top platform
    • avoid using the top tread, tool shelf or rear part of the steps as a foot support
    • only one person should be on stepladders at a time
    • must be appropriate and of the correct grade for the intended use.


Health and safety laws require specific measures to control the risks associated with working at heights. Workplaces should have a system in place to prevent you from falling and to prevent objects falling and hitting you when you are working. It is important that you abide by the Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation in your state or territory, and understand your rights and responsibilities in the workplace. There is a Code of Practice under the Work Health and Safety Act (WHS) focused on managing the risk of falls in the workplace. The Code applies to all workplaces covered by the WHS Act and Regulations where there is a risk of a fall by a person from one level to another that is reasonably likely to cause injury. It provides practical guidance to persons conducting a business or undertaking a role on how to manage health and safety risks arising from falls, including information on a range of control measures to eliminate or minimise the risks.

Modified from sources: Healthy Working Lives, Working at heights: http://www.healthyworkinglives.com/advice/work-equipment/working-at-height.


1.4 – Cleaning equipment, including required personal protective equipment (PPE), is selected according to job requirements and checked for serviceability, and faults are rectified or reported prior to starting work

By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:

Select suitable cleaning and personal protective equipment (PPE) according to job requirements

Check equipment for serviceability and rectify or report any faults.

Cleaning equipment

Selecting and using the correct cleaning equipment is important to ensure you can complete the job safely and effectively. Before you start cleaning, you should identify what equipment will be required for the job and gather it together to ensure you are prepared. You should make sure you know where equipment is stored in your organisation and how to access it. There will be specific storage areas for cleaning equipment to ensure items are maintained properly and safely.  If you are unsure what equipment to use or are struggling to find it, you should speak to your supervisor or colleagues so they can help you select the right items.

Cleaning equipment could include:

  • Bin liners
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Damp wiping kits
  • Litter picker
  • Long-handled dustpans and brooms
  • Microfibre products
  • Nylon pads
  • Pick-up trolleys
  • Scrubbing brushes
  • Sharps kits
  • Spray bottles
  • Wheelie bins.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

It is important to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself against hazards, such as chemicals and heavy equipment, and ensure you are working safely. Depending on the job you are undertaking, you may need to use various types of protective equipment together, so you should read the job description to determine what is required. If you are unsure what equipment you will need, you should check with your supervisor to make sure you are fully prepared. Equipment must be provided in good condition to ensure it is fit for the purpose.

Personal protective equipment could include:

  • Disposable respirators
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves
  • High visibility vests
  • Protective clothing
  • Safety shoes
  • Sun protection
Type of PPE Part of body and use Picture
Ear Muffs/Plugs Protect the ears. They should be worn when working in a noisy area or when using noisy machinery.
Safety Glass and goggles: Protect the eyes. They should be worn when using chemicals or applying chemicals in a high place where it could drip down.


Protect hands from chemicals. Longer and thicker gloves are used to protect workers from cutting their hands on sharp objects such as needles.

The table below will give you an idea of the different types of personal protective equipment that may be required and what it is used for:

Safety Clothes Protect the body from exposure to strong chemicals or wear high visibility clothing when working outside in the dark.
Face Mask and/or respirator Protects the worker from inhaling dust and chemicals. May be required if workers are in confined spaces.
Safety Boots



Protects feet. Safety boots should be slip-resistant to prevent slips and falls. Rubber soled shoes can be used as protection against electrocution. Safety shoes should also have impact protection in work areas where heavy objects such as tools can be accidentally dropped on the feet.
Hard Hats Protect your head from falling debris when working on a building site, for example.
Wet work clothing Coats, rubber boots and waterproof pants are used to protect workers against exposure to the elements. Workers can be outside for long periods, so in these instances, they should be provided with warm and waterproof clothing.
Sun protection


Ultraviolet protection. When workers are outside for long periods, they should be provided with sun protection, such as sun lotion.


Faults and serviceability

Before using any equipment, you should take the time to check it thoroughly to make sure it is clean, undamaged and in safe working condition. Equipment should be inspected on a regular basis to look out for any faults and to check the cleanliness and safety of it. If you are unsure how to inspect equipment, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions or ask your supervisor for advice. If you notice any faults with equipment, it should be reported straight away to your supervisor so they can arrange for it to be fixed or replaced, and to prevent anyone else from using it in the meantime. Most organisations will provide you with tags that should be placed on equipment that is damaged or broken, so this should be done to make other people aware of it. You should not attempt to use or repair any faulty equipment unless you are qualified and authorised to do so, as it could be very dangerous.

When inspecting equipment, it is important to check the following:

  • Make sure it is clean, hygienic and safe to use
  • Check that it is working fine
  • If you are using electrical equipment, you should make sure it is fully charged so it won’t run out when you’re working
  • Check that it has been serviced recently and is fit for the purpose
  • Check that it is compliant with environmental regulations
  • Make sure it is suitable for the task at hand.

1.5 – Cleaning products to be used are selected, diluted, and dispensed or prepared according to manufacturer specifications, and company and health and safety requirements

By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:

Select and prepare the correct cleaning products to use

Dilute and dispense cleaning products according to manufacturer specifications and health and safety requirements

Read chemical labels and safety data sheets (SDS) to learn how to use chemicals safely.

Select cleaning products

Before you start cleaning, you will need to select the right products to use for the job. You should do this by first reading the job description to find out what you will be required to clean. Your organisation may also advise which products should be used on different floors and surfaces etc. and you may also need to dilute or dispense the products in preparation, so you should check this with your supervisor and the manufacturer’s specifications. The most common cleaning products are cleaning agents and chemicals, which are substances that are used to remove dirt, odours, infestations and small debris. They are usually liquid, but can also be bought in the form of foams, sprays, powders and granules.

Cleaning agents could include:

  • Water
  • Detergents
  • Acid-based cleaners:
    • e.g. hydrochloric acid, vinegar, sulfuric acid
    • used mainly to remove unnatural deposits such as lime scaling and calcium.
  • Alkaline-based cleaners:
    • e.g. sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, bleach
    • used mainly to break down fats and oils.
  • Neutral cleaners:
    • e.g. mild soap cleaners
    • formulated with a PH of 7 (out of 0-14); neither acidic nor alkaline.
  • Solvent cleaners
  • Disinfectants
  • Deodorants
  • Sanitisers
  • Polishes
  • Floor cleaners
  • Abrasives
  • Pesticides

When you are using cleaning products, it is important that you know the properties of the chemicals you are working with and understand how to use them safely. You should read the labels on chemicals to find out any vital information about the product.

Chemical labels could include the following information:

  • Product identifier (the name)
  • Chemical ingredients if it is a mix (e.g. aliphatic hydrocarbons 95%, toxicole 5%)
  • Signal words which show the severity of the hazard (e.g. DANGER or WARNING)
  • Hazard statements which show the nature of the hazard (e.g. highly flammable, causes skin burn, toxic and corrosive,)
  • Precautionary statements, which give advice on how to:
    • prevent an accident
    • respond to an accident
    • store the chemical
    • dispose of chemicals
  • Pictograms or symbols of hazards
  • Other useful information
  • Name and contact details of Australian manufacturer and importer.

Diluting chemicals

This is a method used for decreasing concentrated chemicals into usable levels of concentration, for health and safety reasons.

Usually, dilution instructions are given on the container of the concentrated liquid, or the associated manual. A common method of instruction is to dilute by ratios – for example one part cleaning product to ten parts water, i.e. for every 10ml of cleaning product, you would need to mix it with 100ml of water. This would be explained as a ratio of 1:10.

If a product does not need to be diluted, it is described as ‘neat’.

Common ratios for dilution are as follows:

  • 1:10 = disinfection/deep cleaning
  • 1:25 = washrooms/shower areas

However, ensure you always check the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution. Also, remember that the same chemical can have different dilution rates depending on the cleaning task you are doing.

Another tip is to measure out the water first and then add the cleaning product concentrate afterwards.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

A safety data sheet (SDS) is a document that provides information on the properties of hazardous chemicals and how they affect health and safety in the workplace. When you are using a chemical you are unfamiliar with, you should read the SDS provided with it to make sure you know what is in the chemical and ensure you are using it safely.

An SDS should include the following information:

  • The identity of the chemical
  • Health and physiochemical hazards
  • Safe handling and storage procedures
  • Emergency procedures
  • Disposal considerations.

The Work Health and Safety Regulations require the manufacturer or importer of a hazardous chemical to prepare an SDS for it. A supplier must also provide the current SDS for the hazardous chemical on first supply to a workplace when requested. An SDS must be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, for example, when any new information becomes available on the hazards of the material. They should be reviewed and re-issued every five years.

Modified from source: Safe Work Australia, Safety Data Sheet: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/whs-information/hazardous-chemicals/sds/pages/sds.

Chemical spills

Spilling chemicals can be very dangerous and any spills should be dealt with immediately before it spreads further. Before using any chemicals, it is vital that you read the label and SDS to make sure you are prepared and know what to do in the event of a spill. To control the use of chemicals and prevent spills, many organisations now provide employees with spray bottles, which are particularly useful when using chemicals in closed areas with little ventilation. If you notice any chemical bottles leaking, you should avoid using it and find a new one.

Instructions on how to deal with a chemical spill could include:

  • Contact the appropriate authorities and organisation owners
  • Put on any necessary additional PPE
  • Put out signage and barriers to quarantine the area
  • Acquire and apply the proper neutralising agent
  • Label and dispose of materials properly
  • Arrange a hazardous waste collection.

You may also need to be aware of the organisation’s evacuation plan in the case of a severe chemical spill which could harm yourself or others.

In the event of an evacuation, you will need to know:

  • Where the fire doors and emergency exits are in the building
  • Location of fire reels and fire extinguishers
  • Location of fire blankets (which will usually be in the kitchen)
  • The fire detection system/s that are in place including the location of heat sensors, sprinklers and smoke alarms.

As cleaning agents are made up of various potentially dangerous chemicals, it is very important to handle them with care and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions stated on the product packaging when using them. It is also important to follow health and safety procedures in your organisation, which should be provided to all staff that are using cleaning products. Failure to do so could lead to poisoning, contamination, burns, corrosion and other types of harm to individuals and/or the environment.

Routes of entry

When working with chemicals, it is important to be aware of the possible routes of entry for them into the body, and the corresponding symptoms and actions.

Form of contact Possible effects Action
Eye or skin contact Irritation

Burning sensation

Temporary or permanent damage

Changes in skin colour


Organ damage

Rinse the area with water immediately and continue for 15-20 minutes.

If the victim needs to be transported to hospital immediately, rinsing should continue during the journey.

Inhalation Decreased oxygen supply in blood leading to suffocation

Lung cancer

Chronic bronchitis


Administer oxygen if it is available. Follow First Aid requirements according to the SDS
Ingestion Organ damage

Internal burning

Call a medical professional immediately and follow their advice.

Induce vomiting if it is recommended by a medical professional, but not otherwise.

1.6 – Pre-existing damage to cleaning site is identified and reported according to client and company requirements

By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:

Identify any pre-existing damage to cleaning site before starting the job

Record and report any damages they have noticed according to client and company requirements.

Identify and report pre-existing damage

It is important to conduct inspections and check for any pre-existing damage or defects at sites before you start cleaning. Depending on where you are cleaning, there could be damage to work surfaces, floors, equipment or furniture, etc. in the form of chips, cracks, scratches and wear and tear. Damage refers to faults and flaws that may have been done during handling or storage, whereas, defects are problems that have occurred during the manufacturing process, so you should identify which it could be. It is important to identify damages to ensure you know what was already damaged if you notice anything during cleaning and to make sure you are not held liable for it.

You will need to keep a record of anything you have noticed throughout the inspection and report it as soon as possible to make others aware. It is important to find out the correct way to report damages in line with client and company requirements to ensure it reaches the correct person and can be dealt with accurately. If you are unsure who you need to report it to, you should speak to your supervisor or the site manager to ask for their advice.

Why is it important to identify and report pre-existing damage?

  • So you know it was there previously and wasn’t caused by the cleaning
  • To make sure you are not held responsible and liable for the damage
  • For health and safety reasons, if the damage could affect others
  • To make others aware if it’s a hazard as you may need to block off access to the area until it is repaired
  • It may be a client and company requirement that you report any damages.

1.7 – Signs and barricades are selected and installed according to cleaning task and work site

By the end of this chapter, the learner will be able to:

Select appropriate signs and barricades for the cleaning task

Install signs and barricades that are suitable for the work site.

Select signs and barricades

For some cleaning tasks, you may need to use signs and barricades to restrict access to certain areas that could be hazardous to people. To barricade an area means to place an object between the work area and the public space to signify to people that they must not enter the workspace. Barricades, along with signs, are mainly used for safety reasons to protect people from the risks in a particular area. In relation to cleaning, the risks are most likely to include exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and vapours, and hazardous equipment. It may also be necessary to barricade areas that need to be cleaned, for example where there have been spillages, to isolate hazards and reduce the risks to colleagues, clients and members of the public. You should make sure the type of barricade you use is suitable, strong and effective for the risk posed, as this will ensure that people understand it. For example, in the case of a wet floor, you would need to put up ‘wet floor’ signs to prevent people from walking into the area and slipping. Alternatively, if you wanted to protect people from potentially harmful chemicals, you would need to section off a larger area and put up a ‘danger no entry’ sign.

Barricades could include:

  • Metal grids
  • Fencing
  • Cones
  • Delineators
  • Rope
  • Tape
  • Orange grid netting.

Signs could include:

  • ‘No entry’ signs
  • ‘Caution’ signs
  • ‘Warning’ signs
  • ‘Emergency’ signs
  • ‘Fire’ signs
  • ‘Exit’ signs.