Crest Training is currently working with businesses in the cleaning industry to develop and improve their health and safety management systems.

Commercial cleaning involves apparent risks such as working with hazardous substances and manual handling. However there are also unique risks to this industry including:

  • Lone working
  • Workers with English as a second language
  • Violence and aggression
  • Contact with sharps and body fluids

For a health and safety management system to be effective it needs to be tailored to both the business and the industry in which it operates.

The core purpose of a safety management system is the protection of workers. An effective system can also protect the company, its Owners and Directors from potential prosecution. Consider the following case involving Sanikleen Pty Ltd from December 2014:

‘Sanikleen Pty Ltd was engaged by Wodonga Rendering Pty Ltd to provide cleaning services at the Wodonga Abbatoir. On 19 September 2014, a Sanikleen employee’s hand became caught in the conveyor during cleaning as the conveyor was still running. On 3 December 2014, Sanikleen pleaded guilty to one charge contrary to section 21(1) and 2(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 for failing to provide and maintain systems of work that was, so far as was reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health. Sanikleen was convicted and fined $100,000 and ordered to pay costs in the amount of $3,810. (Wodonga Magistrates’ Court)’


The protection of workers and the business are important but there are also ‘bigger picture’ advantages to managing health and safety well. Think about the competitive market that commercial cleaning companies operate in. Increasingly we are seeing Clients scrutinise how cleaning companies manage health and safety. After all, companies that manage health and safety effectively tend to manage other aspects of their business well. Having an effective system can demonstrate this to Clients and provides the opportunity to win more work.