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Ask the Expert:


The Benefi ts Of Battery Power


Natalie Dowse, Marketing and Product Manager for Truvox International Ltd, outlines the main benefits that battery power can offer, and gives some tips on how to care for batteries.


Q:


machines is their ability to reduce the risk of trips and falls. With no trailing cables and leads to cause hazards in the workplace, either to people using the building or to cleaning operatives themselves, health and safety can be improved.


A:


In its information sheet, ‘Slips and trips: the importance of fl oor cleaning’, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work, costing industries over £500million per year. It suggests that removing obstacles is one way to reduce risks, and places cables and leads from cleaning equipment as the fi rst in its list of potential trip hazards.


The HSE offers further advice in its ‘Slips and Trips Hazard Spotting Checklist’. This document, available to download from the HSE website, gives a checklist that provides examples of hazards that can be found in and around workplaces, with suggested actions to resolve potential problems. In its section on cleaning, it asks the question: “Can cleaning equipment leads be seen crossing or blocking walkways, creating a trip hazard?” Its main suggested actions are:


• Coil up unused equipment cable; 28 | REGULAR


My company is looking to replace its old fl oor cleaning


machines and we’re thinking of switching to battery-powered models – is this a wise move?


The major benefi t of battery- powered fl oor cleaning


• Change power source – provide additional power sockets and use the socket nearest the area being cleaned


• Consider changing to battery- powered equipment.


Therefore, any company or organisation wishing to improve their health and safety would be wise to consider including battery- powered machines in their fl oor cleaning regimes.


Looking after your equipment is crucial in terms of ensuring that there is no break in service delivery, which can be costly in terms of time and money. Building in regular maintenance time will be of great benefi t in the long run, as this will help to extend the life of your batteries.


One of the worst things that can happen to a battery is for it to be discharged too far. To protect against this, some fl oor cleaning machine manufacturers offer battery-powered models that incorporate electronic low battery cut-out devices to prevent this from happening. However, basic and routine battery maintenance should not be neglected, so here are some tips and issues to consider:


• Check the water level in your batteries if applicable;


• Check cables and connectors for cleanliness and make sure that they are secured tightly;


• Sealed batteries are usually referred to as ‘maintenance-free’ and, as far as the battery is concerned, this is correct. However, connections and cables will still need to be checked


If you have a question for the expert, please email: caroline@opusbm.co.uk Your question could be featured in the next issue of Tomorrow's Cleaning.


www.tomorrowscleaning.com and maintained;


• Never leave deep-cycle batteries in a unit that will not be used for extended periods of time without placing them on charge occasionally. All batteries will self-discharge over time, so it is important to keep them topped up;


• Keep your batteries and battery- operated equipment away from heat sources while storing them, as high heat effectively ‘kills’ batteries;


• Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) – including safety goggles/glasses – when servicing batteries.


Battery-power is an increasingly popular option when it comes to fl oor cleaning, and as technology develops, even more options will become available to contract cleaners and facilities managers. Machines without leads are not only safer, but in terms of reducing trips and falls, they are also easier to manoeuvre as well as transport to and from different locations. When reviewing your fl oor cleaning regimes, battery-power is defi nitely an option to consider.


www.truvox.com


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