7 Common Accidents in Facilities Maintenance and Cleaning

Facilities maintenance and cleaning play a crucial role in upholding cleanliness, safety, and functionality within various environments, including offices, schools, hospitals, and commercial buildings.

However, the nature of this work involves inherent risks that can lead to accidents and injuries for maintenance staff and cleaners. In this detailed blog, we'll explore the seven most common accidents in facilities maintenance and cleaning, along with practical strategies for prevention and fostering a culture of safety.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slippery floors, wet surfaces, cluttered walkways, and uneven flooring are common hazards in facilities maintenance and cleaning, leading to slips, trips, and falls. These accidents can result in a range of injuries, from minor bruises to serious fractures or head injuries.


  • Keep walkways and corridors clear of obstacles, spills, and debris.
  • Implement regular cleaning schedules to address spills and maintain dry floors.
  • Use caution signs and barriers to alert others to wet or slippery areas.
  • Install non-slip flooring and mats in high-traffic zones and areas prone to moisture.
  • Provide appropriate footwear with slip-resistant soles for maintenance staff and cleaners.

Chemical Exposure

Cleaning products and chemicals used in facilities maintenance can pose risks of exposure to toxic fumes, skin irritation, or respiratory problems. Accidental contact with hazardous substances can lead to chemical burns, allergic reactions, or long-term health effects.


  • Provide training on the safe handling, use, and storage of cleaning chemicals.
  • Use environmentally friendly and non-toxic cleaning products whenever possible.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in cleaning areas to minimize exposure to fumes and vapors.
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, goggles, and respirators, when handling chemicals.
  • Implement spill response procedures and promptly clean up any chemical spills or leaks.

Strain and Overexertion

Facilities maintenance and cleaning tasks often involve lifting heavy objects, repetitive motions, and prolonged standing or bending, increasing the risk of strain and overexertion injuries. These injuries can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, sprains, and strains.


  • Train staff on proper lifting techniques and ergonomic practices.
  • Provide mechanical aids, such as dollies, carts, or lifting equipment, for heavy lifting tasks.
  • Encourage frequent breaks and rotation of tasks to reduce fatigue and prevent overexertion.
  • Design workstations and equipment ergonomically to minimize strain on the body.
  • Conduct ergonomic assessments and make adjustments based on feedback from maintenance staff and cleaners.

Equipment Accidents

Facilities maintenance and cleaning work often involve the use of equipment and machinery such as vacuum cleaners, floor scrubbers, and pressure washers. Accidents can occur due to equipment malfunctions, improper use, or lack of training.


  • Provide comprehensive training on the safe operation and maintenance of equipment.
  • Conduct regular inspections and maintenance checks to ensure that equipment is in good working condition.
  • Establish lockout/tagout procedures to de-energize equipment before performing maintenance or repairs.
  • Encourage reporting of any equipment malfunctions or safety concerns to supervisors.
  • Use guards, safety switches, and other safety features on equipment to prevent accidents.

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Electrical Accidents

Facilities maintenance work often involves electrical systems, wiring, and fixtures, posing risks of electrical shocks, burns, or fires if proper precautions are not taken. Accidental contact with live wires or faulty electrical equipment can lead to serious injuries.


  • Ensure that electrical work is performed by qualified electricians following safety standards and regulations.
  • Conduct regular inspections of electrical systems, outlets, and appliances to detect any issues.
  • Provide training on electrical safety procedures, including how to identify and respond to electrical hazards.
  • Use insulation, grounding, and circuit protection devices to minimize the risk of electrical accidents.
  • Implement lockout/tagout procedures when working on electrical systems to prevent accidental energization.

Falls from Heights

Working at heights is common in facilities maintenance and cleaning, whether it involves cleaning windows, changing light fixtures, or performing roof repairs. Falls from heights can occur due to inadequate fall protection measures or improper use of ladders and scaffolding.


  • Prioritize the use of fall protection systems, such as guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems.
  • Conduct thorough risk assessments before working at heights and implement appropriate controls.
  • Provide training on proper ladder safety and scaffold use, including inspection and setup.
  • Use appropriate access equipment, such as aerial lifts or scaffolds, for working at heights.
  • Monitor weather conditions and adjust work schedules accordingly to minimize risks.

Cuts and Lacerations

Handling sharp objects, such as knives, box cutters, or broken glass, is common in facilities maintenance and cleaning tasks. Accidents can occur if proper handling techniques are not followed, leading to cuts, lacerations, or puncture wounds.


  • Provide training on safe handling and use of cutting tools and sharp objects.
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment, such as cut-resistant gloves, when handling sharp materials.
  • Ensure that tools and equipment are properly maintained and kept in good condition.
  • Store sharp objects securely and dispose of broken or damaged items properly.
  • Encourage staff to report any incidents or near misses involving cuts or lacerations for investigation and prevention.


Accidents in facilities maintenance and cleaning can have serious consequences for workers and the organizations they serve. By identifying common hazards and implementing preventive measures, employers can create safer working environments and minimize the risk of accidents and injuries. Through comprehensive training, proper equipment usage, and a commitment to safety culture, facilities maintenance and cleaning teams can carry out their duties effectively while prioritizing the health and well-being of all involved.

If you're looking for a platform to collect more data to monitor your organisation's incident reporting practices, Falcony | Observe have you covered. You can find more information on our website or test out our 30-day free trial:

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By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.

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