Although there is nothing you can do about preventing the accident after it happens, there is a lot you can do to reduce the likelihood of property damage occurring before it happens.
Identifying where property damage may occur is the first step in prevention. It’s important to remember that when you are performing hard floor maintenance, you’re working within the whole room, not just on the floor. That means you have to be totally aware of your surroundings at all times. Take the time to look around the area where the work is to be performed and identify the things that could possibly be damaged. If you think damage can occur, there is a good likelihood that it can and will.
A general overall inspection should take place at every level in the process of securing the account. During the initial meetings to discuss the service, the salesperson should perform an inspection and ask pertinent questions prior to estimating the cost of providing services. The operation manager will want to examine the area prior to sending crews to ensure potential problems are identified and possible solutions ascertained before turning the job over to the work force. The supervisor will look at the area more closely at the beginning of the service and set up preventative property damage measures. Finally, the technician will perform the area preparation function to remove all obstacles that may impede or be in danger of damage liability.
Additionally, some technicians wedge their putty knife between the door and the doorjamb, which causes the door to pull away from the hinges over time—an expensive repair cost.
Floor coverings can be damaged relatively easily. Dragging items across the surface increases the possibility of having the surface scratched or gouged, which may result in expensive repair or replacement. Always use hand trucks or carts when moving large objects on the floor.
While applying stripping chemicals, it’s possible to splash or splatter stripping solution on the wall. Stripping chemicals are very strong and have the potential of etching into the paint. Coating chemicals can also be inadvertently splashed on the walls. Both of these chemicals can be near impossible to remove, which may result in repainting the entire area.
Water will seek the path of least resistance, meaning it will always travel to the lowest point. In some situations it may be absorbed into sheetrock or paneling. It may also accumulate behind walls, under carpeted thresholds or travel through the walls of the facility. If you see your water disappearing and unsure of where it’s going, it would be wise to investigate all surrounding areas. This is a very common problem when working on stairways.
Congestion is not limited to what is directly on the floor; it may include an expensive painting on the wall that needs to be removed. A crystal vase, art, or artifact on a shelf could easily be knocked off with a mop handle. Examine the area closely to ensure you protect yourself from these potential liabilities.
Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings and everything in it. If you have a good property damage prevention program, then your chances for success are increased tremendously and profit will be applied to the bottom line, not repairs.