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Contributed by AFFLINK

Crime and violence in the U.S. are increasing. It’s happening throughout the country and in all types of communities, large and small.

According to the Council of Criminal Justice, homicides jumped 15 percent during the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Aggravated assault rates were higher in the first half of 2021 than in 2020. And motor vehicle theft rates have gone up by a staggering 21 percent. *

Because most cleaning work is done late at night in empty buildings and on deserted streets, cleaning workers can be particularly vulnerable to these types of crimes.

“Their safety is our concern at AFFLINK,” says Michael Wilson with AFFLINK, a leading sales and marketing organization for the jan/san industry. “And now, as buildings reopen around the country, that concern has increased.”

AFFLINK is advising cleaning contractors and cleaning workers to take the following steps to ensure their safety while on the job:

1.   Tour their client’s facility to know where all entries and exits are located. Be aware that entrances and exits can be hidden in storage and unlikely areas.

2.   When driving to work, always park in a brightly lit area.

3.   Work in pairs; if driving to a facility in separate cars, wait for your coworker to arrive before entering the building.

4.   If a usually locked door is unlocked or open, do not walk in. Call a supervisor, an emergency contact number, or the police.

5.   If you must walk on a public street, always walk facing traffic. That way cars can see you, and you can see them.

6.   If walking in a parking lot or on the street, keep your head up; do not look at your phone. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times. In the security industry, this is referred to as situational awareness.

7.   Know where first aid equipment is stored; better yet, place first aid equipment in each janitorial closet.

8.   Train workers on what to do in an emergency, whom to call and where to go.

“This last step is crucial,” says Wilson. “Often, after an incident occurs, people do not know what to do. This wastes precious time. Know what steps to take immediately.”

*Study published July 2021.

For additional coverage from CleanLink on employee safety, click here