Tips To Keeping Custodial Workers Safe
When we think of cleaning to keep the environment healthy we usually take into account our tenants and customers. We should also take into account our front line workers who are exposed to pathogens on a daily basis. It is imperative that we protect their health for many reasons including the reality that they need to be healthy to show up for work each day. In addition to pure business reasons we do not need reminding that they are human beings with feelings, needs and rights. One very important right is to know the chemical and pathogen exposures that could cause illness and even death in some cases. Our goal should be to do everything we can to protect their health. This may include becoming more knowledgeable of OSHA guidelines and common health practices. Following are a few points to consider:
1.If a cleaning product is delivered RTU (Ready to Use) with a flip/pour spout, you should not allow your worker to attach a spray head and turn it into an aerosol. The flip/pour spout should drive you to double check the product label and/or MSDS information for guidance on NOT using is as a spray or aerosol. Such a warning may require additional training to make sure the products are used safely. Extended inhalation of the aerosol vapors may have a detrimental effect with regular exposure.
2.Washing hands before and after putting on the correct gloves is very important and seldom enforced. The reason for this guidance is to reduce the possibility of a worker being infected with a pathogen that cannot penetrate the gloves but may have gotten onto their hands. If hand washing is not practical, encourage workers to at least use a hand sanitizer so long as it does not damage the gloves.
A healthy, well trained and motivated front line worker is certainly an asset worth protecting. We will continue with this train of thought in future articles.
Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.