We have all heard the horror stories of lawsuits filed against cleaning companies for tens of thousands of dollar$, for things like slip and fall accidents, employee discrimination, hazardous conditions, illegal immigrant employment and the like.
Paralyzed Housekeeper Sues Condo Complex: http://www.cmmonline.com/news.asp?N_ID=66606
Unsafe Floor Mat Allegedly Fingered in Slip and Fall Trial: http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/194952- burger-king-slip-and-fall-trial-to-begin-may-14
Cleaning Employee Sues over Unclean Duties: http://www.nypost.com/seven/01042007/news/regionalnews/peep__sweep_furor_regionalnews_laura_italia no____and_dareh_gregorian.htm
Wal-Mart Sued for Cleaning Contractor Allegedly: http://www.notinourname.net/detentions/walmart- 5nov03.htm
However, maybe it’s our turn to change this sue happy culture into a positive for our businesses by combating some of the lawsuits that may fall on them. Did you hear about the lawsuit filed last week where a Detroit woman is suing her employer because her neighboring co-worker wore too much perfume and she has a chemical sensitivity? Using low scent or green cleaning agents, and using state of the art odor remediation techniques (certifications found at http://www.iicrc.org//) may be a great “benefit” to commercial clients who are aware of their responsibilities of this modern age that we live in. Or, in residential cleaning, using products that you have proven to be less slippery and educating the customer about why you chose that product – for their guests’ safety.
Any extra safety features that you offer (use of “wet floor” signs, HEPA filter vacuums, etc.) can be used to educate the customer on your choice, and your decision about their safety. Of course you need to be sure not to overstate the product/equipment /procedure’s capabilities, or try to scare them to death (that might be a lawsuit in itself) but demonstrating that you have put more thought into their safety than the next guy makes you look like the professional.