British Maids - Health And Safety Policy




British Maids is committed to maintaining safe and healthy working conditions and to prevent accidents and instances of work-related ill health by ensuring that all activities carries out on company premises or to be undertaken by its employees are managed in such a manner so as to avoid, reduce or control all foreseeable risks to the health and safety of anyone who may be affected by such activities as far as is reasonably practicable. This policy will be reviewed and revised every year.




In furtherance of the above policy statement and the needs to ensure compliance with the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and other relevant health and safety legislation. British Maids will:

  • Provide and maintain safe plant and equipment and safe systems of work;
  • Ensure materials and substances used are properly stored, handled, used and transported;
  • Assess the risks to the health and safety of anyone who may be affected by work activities;
  • Consult with employees on matters effecting their health and safety and ensure that all employees are competent to do their tasks;
  • Provide information, training, instruction and supervision;
  • Provide a safe place of environment;
  • Provide a written Health and Safety Policy;
  • Look after the health and safety of other people, in addition to employees;
  • Talk to safety representatives.



Employees have a legal responsibility to take care of the health and safety of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions or omissions and to cooperate with supervisors and managers on health and safety issues. Employees should not interfere with anything provided to safeguard their health and safety and should report all health and safety concerns to the appropriate person as set out in this policy


Staff should:

  • Take reasonable precautions in safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of themselves and others who may be affected by their work;
  • Work safely and efficiently;
  • Observe all health and safety rules and procedures and use all health and safety equipment provided;
  • Not interfere with or misuse any item provided in the interest of health, safety, hygiene and welfare;
  • Report any faulty equipment, potential hazards or incidents that may lead to injury, illness or damage to the office immediately;
  • Display clearly visible warning signs when cleaning;
  • Follow manufacturers’ instructions when using cleaning agents and equipment;
  • Not use cleaning equipment and materials unless trained to do so;
  • Remember that most accidents are caused by, and happen to, one person.


  • Follow specific rules that apply to work areas.
  • Wear safety/protective equipment as specified for designated areas/tasks.
  • Report and wipe up any spillage – always displaying a warning sign.
  • Walk, not run at your place of work.
  • Use authorised access and exit routes only.
  • Stack items safely and place things where they belong.
  • Lift items correctly.
  • Disconnect electrical apparatus from the power supply before cleaning machinery.
  • Check that all equipment is safe before use and has an up to date Portable Appliance Test (PAT) annual safety check.
  • Report any defects to the office immediately. Do not use, label and remove.
  • Do not misuse equipment.
  • Keep all work areas as clean as possible and tidy up as you work.
  • Place rubbish in the appropriate colour-coded waste bags and bins provided and do not allow rubbish to accumulate.
  • Observe and use the recommended colour-coding systems. 


If an accident has occurred, staff should:

  • Report it immediately to the office;
  • Seek medical attention from occupational health, or A&E;
  • Complete an accident form immediately;


Protective clothing

All staff involved in cleaning processes are responsible for wearing suitable protective clothing whilst at work, such as overalls, aprons and rubber gloves. Failure to wear the correct clothing may result in damage to personal clothing, personal injury, spread of infection or skin contact with cleaning agents.

Staff should wear flat, comfortable, closed-toed shoes to protect their feet and for personal comfort

Jewellery and make-up

Long necklaces, beads, earrings, bracelets and rings should be avoided as they may get caught in machinery or equipment. Excessive make-up or hairstyles may intimidate or present a poor image and should be avoided.



Staff will frequently be called upon to lift things. This may seem unimportant but even lifting a bucket from the floor to the kitchen sink may cause strain. In bending, the weight of the upper part of the body subjects the discs of the spine to considerable stress. If done incorrectly the discs may be damaged, causing considerable pain.

Training should be given in the correct method of lifting to prevent strains and other internal injuries. Staff with any medical problem that would place them at risk when lifting should be identified.



  • Decisions should be based on the interests of health and safety.
  • If necessary, two people should be used to lift heavy loads.
  • Stand close to the object to be lifted, place feet wide apart.
  • Bend knees, keep back straight, get a good grip and keep the object to be lifted close to the body.
  • Lift gradually, straighten knees and stand up using leg muscles, avoiding quick and jerky movements.

Pushing and pulling

  • Get a firm grip of the object.
  • Keep back as straight as possible.
  • Brace feet for maximum leg power.
  • Bend knees – giving best distribution of body weight.


  • Keep object to be carried close to the body.
  • Avoid twisting and turning – change direction by moving feet.
  • Do not change grip whilst carrying the object.
  • Face place where object is to be put down.


All equipment should be kept clean and in good working order.

Staff should only operate electrical machinery if they have been trained to do so. Unattended machinery should be disconnected from the power supply, switched off and not left where it could be a source of danger to others.

Excessive lengths of cable should not trail across walkways, appropriate warning signs should be positioned effectively and a circuit breaker should be used, if appropriate.

All electrical equipment should be inspected regularly and possess an up to date PAT label. Any machinery defects should be reported to the office. Faulty machinery, or machinery with an out of date PAT label, should never be operated. Machines should be switched off and unplugged prior to dismantling or parts removal.

Equipment should always be put away clean and where it will not cause an accident.




Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee, regardless of status who, wilfully or deliberately, is consistently negligent in conforming to the company’s safety policy. Failure to comply with current legislation concerning Health and Safety At Work will amount to serious conduct, which may lead to dismissal. This policy will be kept up to date, particularly as the business changes in nature and size. To ensure this, the policy and the way in which it has operated will be reviewed every year.




If you discover a fire in a Department which has a fire alarm system then set it off and call emergency to report exactly where the fire is. In buildings where there is no fire alarm system, raise the alarm by shouting.

If a fire alarm sounds while you are working, leave the building at once and make your way to the assembly point. You must not use the lift. At the assembly point make your presence known to whoever has taken charge of the evacuation so that they may be sure that everyone has left the building safely.

Do not attempt to put out a fire yourself unless you are entirely confident. Your own life and safety are much more important than any equipment or property which might be involved in the fire. If you do decide to tackle the fire, make sure that you can escape if necessary. Portable fire extinguishers and hose reels are not designed to cope with an extensive fire.

It is important that you use the correct appliance for a particular type of fire. Never use water if you think that electricity is involved.

You must never obstruct fire hoses and portable fire extinguishers in any way by cleaning equipment, nor use hose reels for drying cleaning cloths. Such an obstruction could delay their use in an emergency.

If you have to wedge a fire door open for cleaning purposes, you must ensure that the wedges are removed and the doors closed before you leave the area. If you find fire doors wedged open in your area and no one about, please close the doors.




Carefully examine all electric appliances such as vacuum cleaners, floor polishing machines, wet pick-ups, etc. Before use, check for frayed or damaged cables, damaged plugs or covers for the electric wiring. Do not switch on faulty machinery but tell the office. Never pull out plugs by pulling on the cable as this will pull the wire away from the pins inside the plug which could lead to danger.

All flexible cables to portable tools and appliances need to be inspected regularly to ensure that they are in good condition and properly connected.

Where trailing cables are crossing passageways, notices should be put up for the safety of passers-by.

If any machine acts unusually or starts to give off smoke, SWITCH IT OFF IMMEDIATELY at the wall socket and tell the office. YOU MUST NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ATTEMPT TO REPAIR THE MACHINE YOURSELF. If a machine gives you a "tingle" or an actual electric shock, switch off the machine at the wall socket and get immediate assistance.

Use electrical or mechanical equipment only if you have been trained in its use and are authorised to use it.

Never allow defective equipment to be used.

Never use machinery where the extension cable is of a smaller diameter than that of the machine cable.

Always keep machine clean. Dirty machines can lead to accidents. Never stretch a cable or allow the rotating part of any machine to come into contact with the cable.




Slips, trips and falls are the most common types of accidents experienced by cleaners and domestic staff. Most, if not all, can be prevented by taking common sense measures.

Good housekeeping is the key to the prevention of slips, trips and falls at work.

Never clutter corridors with buckets, mops, cables etc. so that others could fall over them.

Ensure that you only carry or move loads within your own capacity. Always bend your knees to lift and not your back as this is a sure way of hurting your back. Hold the object as close to your body as possible when moving.

Do not wear unsuitable footwear such as high heeled shoes, strapless sandals or slippers.

Do not run at your place of work and watch out for machine cables on the floors, wet surfaces or protruding drawers and other obstacles.

When washing polished floors, take extra care yourself when moving on the wet surface and help others to avoid a fall by using the warning signs or cone provided. When wet mopping or floor scrubbing, either ensure that other people cannot enter or, if this is not possible, do the work on half the area so that people have a dry area to walk on.

When using any equipment with a trailing lead, try to keep the cable running along the wall so that people can pass without stepping over it.

Never work above head height without suitable equipment such as a step ladder. Ensure the step ladder is placed on a flat even surface and is the correct height for the job in question. Always have someone holding the step ladder steady as you do the work.




Part of your work may involve using household cleaning agents like bleach. These are dangerous chemicals and must always be handled with care. You must always read the instructions and use the cleaning agents in the recommended quantities.

Always check to ensure that you are using the correct product and never use a material that you are not sure about. Falls on slippery floors, burns and fires can be caused by the improper use of cleaning materials.

Where protective gloves/clothing /footwear were necessary when handling cleaning agents. Remove gloves etc. when your work with the substance has finished. Clean up all spillage immediately, use appropriate barriers that a floor is wet. Keep lids on all bottles at all times.

When you are not using the cleaning agents then keep them safe. Never keep cleaning agents in food containers.

Some disinfectants and cleaning agents give off nasty fumes, so it is important that when using them you properly ventilate the room where you are working. You should wear rubber gloves when handling many of these products otherwise you may contact dermatitis.

Do not smoke when you are using them and remember to wash your hands afterwards. If you do not follow this advice you may poison yourself when eating or smoking.

Several household cleaning agents like wax polish are available in aerosol cans. Again you must always follow the manufacturer's instructions. In particular never use them near a fire or naked flame otherwise they may explode or burst into flames. Furthermore, they should be kept away from heat including sunlight.

To avoid inhaling the vapour they should only be used in well-ventilated rooms and when empty throw them away - do not attempt to burn or puncture them.

Finally, if you feel sick or drowsy after using any cleaning agent, tell the office.



During the course of your duties on some sites, you   may come across the following hazard labels. It is therefore important that   you are able to recognise them and understand their meanings


Irritant – These are non – corrosive substances   which, through either immediate, prolonged or repeated contact can cause   inflammation, soreness and redness of the skin, eyes, nose, throat or lungs


These are substances which, on contact with the skin   or eyes may cause serve chemical burns. If swallowed they may cause serve   damage to internal organs and living tissues



Always read the label before using/handling any substance or chemical

Always wear the protective clothing issued to you

Dispose of substances and their containers only as instructed




  1. Make sure that the right size glove is being worn – too tight will cause fatigue, too loose will reduce your ability to hold/grasp things
  2. Check the gloves for defects. Look out for small holes and thinning patches especially between the fingers. Inflate the glove checking for air seepage. Replace the gloves if any defects are found
  3. Store gloves safely. Do not store with other coded gloves or cross contamination may occur
  4. Rinse gloves under running water before removal of gloves carefully to reduce the risk of exposure to unprotected skin
  5. Never share, or use, another person’s gloves. It is a good way of spreading infection, bacterial and germs
  6. Wash your hands before wearing gloves. Gloves must only be worn on clean hands that are free from bacteria
  7. Do not wear gloves when it is not necessary. Gloves must only be worn to protect the hands from cleaning materials and when washing up. Do not leave them on an longer than necessary
  8. Cover all cuts, sores, grazes and wounds with a waterproof plaster before putting gloves on
  9. Do not touch your face, mouth or eyes whilst wearing gloves. Report any signs of irritation or rash on the hands immediately to the Office








During the course of your duties you may come across certain safety signs. It is the duty of every employee to learn the different signs, their meanings, and to obey them.

There are four categories of safety signs:


Prohibition, Warning, Mandatory and Safe Conditions
     nosmoking Prohibition signs state that a certain behaviour is   not allowed (this one says “No Smoking Allowed”). They have a red circle on a   white background and a red bar running from top left to bottom right, with a   black picture is not allowed.

Warning signs provide a warning of a specific hazard   (this one warns of “wet floor”. They have a black triangle on a yellow   background, with a black picture of what the hazard actually is.

     fire escape Mandatory signs show that a specific course of   action must be taken (this one states that you must keep the fire escape   clear). They have a blue circle on a white background with a white   picture/wording of what action you must take
     Safe Condition signs provide information about safe   conditions (this one shows where you can obtain First Aid). They are normally   square or oblong with a white picture or wording on a green background
DO NOT enter any room or area displaying the   following warning signs unless authorised and instructed by the person in   charge that it is safe to do so.
 biohazard    BIOHAZARD  radiation    RADIATION  toxic    TOXIC  explosion2    EXPLOSION
 laser    LASER BEAM danger     RISK OF DANGER   electricshock   ELECTRIC SHOCK low temp     LOW TEMPERATURE


The user of alcohol and drugs may impair the safe and efficient running of the business and/ or the health and safety of our employees. The effects of alcohol and drugs can be numerous (these are examples only and not an exhaustive list) absenteeism (e.g. unauthorised absence, lateness, excessive levels of sickness, etc.) higher accident levels (e.g. at work, elsewhere, driving to and from work) work performance (e.g. difficulty in concentrating, tasks taking more time, making mistakes, etc.). If your performance or attendance at work is affected as a result of alcohol or drugs, or we believe you have been involved in any drug related action/ offence, you may be subject to disciplinary action and, dependent on the circumstances, this may lead to your dismissal.


There are bound to be areas and problems which this booklet has not covered but it should serve as a guide as to how you should carry out your duties safely. If you feel that there are topics which need to be covered in a booklet of this sort, please discuss it with the office. A free and honest flow of information at all levels is of paramount importance in ensuring a safe working environment for everyone at British Maids.

Contact Information

Phone: 02392 369936 Unit C2
Endeavour Business Park
Penner Road

Follow Us

BritishMaids is a trading name of UKG Lifestyle Ltd. UKG Lifestyle is a company incorporated in England and Wales Reg no. 06311210, registered office is at Unit C2, Endeavour Business Park, Penner Road, Havant, PO9 1QN, VAT Reg no. 913213074

© 2012 British Maids Cleaning Services. All Rights Reserved - Website Designed by Akira Studio Ltd.