Ask any building serving contractor: Cleaning can be dangerous work!
Even the most mundane tasks, like vacuuming, can cause serious injuries if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Follow these tips to stay safe when you operate an upright commercial vacuum:
Pay attention to posture.
Posture is important when operating a Bissell upright vacuum. We’ve all seen hunched-over operators with extended arms, but this is a recipe for a repetitive shoulder injury or other strains.
Instead of letting the upright vacuum float away from your body, stand directly behind the machine. Thrust the vacuum forward using your body weight, then pull it back. Operating in this manner will let your body weight become a counter weight to the vacuum.
Pay attention to size.
Hunching over is often a result of a poor match between the size of the operator and the size of the equipment. Pairing a six-foot-tall operator with a shorter upright vacuum isn’t a good idea. The height difference will force the user to hunch over, reducing the upper body tension needed to allow the vacuum to float. This poor posture can also increase twisting during operation.
Pay attention to ergonomics.
Many of our Bissell upright vacuums are designed with ergonomic handles that reduce strain and decrease the risk of injuries. Also look for vacuums with robber and foam handles, and consider investing in lighter-weight vacuums that offer powerful cleaning power without the strain of maneuvering a bulkier machine.
Consider backpack vacuums.
Switching to backpack vacuums may be a good option for operators who have experienced arm injuries. The weight of a backpack vacuum is supported by the hips, not the arm, making it a potential option for decreasing injuries.
Backpack vacuums, however, are not without their own risks. Again, pay attention to size — strapping a large vacuum on a small operator can be detrimental. Also, take care to make sure the harness is properly fitted to the operator’s body. Wearing the harness correctly boosts the vacuum’s ergonomic ability and won’t put strain on the operator’s back.