The British Institute of Cleaning Science Founded 1961 with over 10,000 members Largest independent body within the cleaning industry

+44 (0)1604 678710


7. The Importance of Health & Safety - BICSc

Fri 24 Apr 2015 05:47:00 PM EEST

It is the responsibility of the Assessor at the start of every assessment, to advise the candidate the 5 points of principle criteria, of which they will be assessed upon.* The principle criteria is found in the Assessment Guidance Notes, located in each assessment kit. Assessors must ensure they are familiar with all sections of the assessment guidance notes and act upon them.

The assessment criteria for every Skill will feature at least one warning triangle. This triangle denotes in most cases Health & Safety and the importance of the candidate completing this aspect of the assessment correctly. If a triangle is featured and the candidate fails to carry out the skill in accordance with the skill criteria, the assessor is required to stop the assessment.

However not all errors made by a candidate can be listed in the assessment kit. Below are listed some of the health & safety errors made by candidates during an audit and where the assessor failed to stop the assessment. This list is not exhaustive and assessors are encouraged to apply the principle above and examples below when conducting their own assessment.

- Standing on and kicking of an electrical cable.
- Not wearing gloves whilst checking equipment.
- Warning signs not sited correctly. (Warning signs are to zone an area; users of the building should not meet the hazard before reaching the warning sign. Warning signs should not be placed in such a way they can increase the risk of tripping, e.g. within a doorway.)
- Walking on a wet floor.
- Turning on the power to the equipment whilst the on/off switch is on the ‘on’ position.
- Equipment left unattended whilst power on.
- Moving a bucket by kicking it.
- Not all of the equipment is selected and checked before cleaning has commenced.
- Wet hands/gloves whilst unplugging or using electrical equipment
- Banging, shaking and vacuuming away from floor level to remove soil from the mop sweep.
- Using boiling water to dilute chemical
- Using just water for Single Solution Mopping
- Cable over the shoulder or wrapped around wrist whilst buffing/spray buffing/suction cleaning
- Not adjusting the level of water to accommodate the chemical to avoid overflowing e.g. Whilst filling a 5lt bucket the dilution required 500ml of chemical. The candidate placed some water into the bucket and added the 500ml chemical solution and then filled the bucket up to the 5ltr mark, thus 500ml of water short.
- Using soiled and or damaged equipment
- The mixing of colour coded equipment
- Not checking for and applying a dressings to cuts/abrasions
- Not washing/rinsing of re-useable personal protective equipment after use
- Not using correct manual handling techniques
- Trigger Spray bottle not labelled
- Pouring excess chemical solution back into the container
-Removing plug from socket before turning off power
- Not checking the machine operating switch is in the off position before plugging it in
- Not completing the assessment in full, thus not acquiring sufficient points to pass, e.g. Not mop sweeping after spray buffing
- Removing warning signs before the floor is dry
- Storing the rotary floor machine with the disc drive attached
- The candidate saying what they would do, not actually doing it.
- Not wiping signs down at conclusion
- Not wearing hand protection whilst removing debris from floor and handling soiled equipment and materials.
- Using general non-disposable cloth on washroom equipment
In some cases the assessor has contributed to the unsafe practice and increased the risk of the candidate failing the assessment. The following errors were made by assessors:

- Not clearly indicating the area to be cleaned, during the pre-brief
- Indicating an area out too large or small, not as stated in the minimum requirements (about a car parking area)
- Not providing and or checking the equipment and materials prior to the assessment
- Asking the candidate questions during the assessment
- Prompting the candidate during the assessment
- Telling the candidate the pass mark and timings before the start of the assessment
The regulations states that the assessment must be terminated immediately if the candidate acts unsafely. This Assessor Bulletin and the assessment criteria may not have listed every unsafe practice; however if candidate is acting unsafely, the assessment must be stopped.

If you are unsure whether an action would constitute unsafe, please speak to a BICSc Verification Support Coordinator and raise your concern at your next standardisation meeting.

*Your Verifier can provide a pre-brief example script if required.

Authorised by
Pat O’Mara
Head of Group Operations