Safety First in Janitorial Services

The janitorial industry and the workers it employs provide essential services that help our communities maintain healthy environments. Over 2.4 million people in the U.S. are employed in this sector, working in locations ranging from schools to hospitals to office complexes and more. 

Every day, janitors, custodians, and others who work in the industry face workplace risks that can lead to injury while performing their routine duties. They’re required to exert force during tasks such as pushing a cart loaded with supplies and tools, or moving heavy furniture. Working in awkward postures and performing repetitive motions is common, such as when sweeping and mopping floors or reaching overhead for dusting. And jobs often require lifting heavy items such as full trashcans. 

These physically demanding jobs, often performed in intense and fast-paced environments, are cause for a higher than average rate of work-related injuries within the industry, with sprains and strains topping the list.

  • Strain & sprain claims happen 29% of the time in the janitorial services sector.
  • Strain & sprain claims are a leading loss driver among janitorial services workers, representing 31% of all claims costs.

(Source: NCCI data for janitorial services in 2019)

Strain and sprain claims cost more per claim than the average claim in the janitorial services industry. And indemnity claims for strains and sprains are the most costly. According to National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) data for janitorial services, in 2019:

  • the average workers’ compensation claim cost was $11,031
  • the average strain & sprain claim cost was $11,612
  • the average strain & sprain indemnity claim cost was $16,095

Workplace injuries result in pain and lost work time for workers, as well as lost productivity and potentially higher workers’ compensation insurance premiums for employers. However, sprain and strain injuries in this sector are largely preventable.

Wearable Tech Enhances Loss Control

To keep janitorial workers safe and on the job, it’s essential for employers to help prevent workplace strain and sprain injuries. Companies are increasingly turning to wearable technology to reduce risk by helping employees move safely while doing their jobs, which helps everyone to avoid costly injuries. With wearables, industrial workers can reduce the number of high-risk movements they make, including the common improper bending, twisting and overreaching postures performed by the janitorial workforce.

Wearables provide users with a light vibrational alert each time they make a risky move on the job. With this continuous coaching, workers begin to develop safer habits and, over time, they perform fewer high-risk movements. As ergonomics improve, the frequency of costly sprain and strain injuries reduces.

Wearable tech can reduce injury frequency by 50-60% and lost work days by 72%.

Perr&Knight actuarial analysis, 2021

Wearables also inform employers about areas and employees that are most at risk by collecting data about high-risk postures for an entire workforce. This data leads to actionable insights that allow employers to take targeted measures toward further reducing workplace risk and controlling loss.

While wearables have been deployed among large, Fortune 500 companies for some time, they are becoming increasingly accessible to middle-market companies, especially in safety-critical industries like janitorial services where they can significantly benefit frontline workers. Innovative workers’ compensation policies, like Kinetic’s offering, that include this safety tech at no cost allow employers to take a proactive approach to workers’ comp and workplace safety. The results? A safer, more productive workforce and lower costs for employers.

Kinetic Insurance, in partnership with Nationwide, is pioneering a technology-driven approach to worker safety that benefits insurance carriers, brokers, and policyholders. Our workers’ compensation offerings lower costs by equipping workers with wearable technology that is proven to reduce injuries by as much as 60% and lost work days by 72%. Want to learn more? Reach out to us at