Every company needs a janitor, but that position comes with a host of safety concerns that every company must address. Whether it’s for an office building or an industrial space, every janitor must go into their job with a clear understanding of the dangers that exist, how to avoid them and what to do in emergencies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, janitors have one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. Janitors and cleaners rank in the top seven jobs that result in injuries and days away from work due to injuries. In 2010, janitors and cleaners had more than 20,000 injuries recorded by the Bureau. Compared to the injury rate of all workers, janitors have work-related injuries that result in days off more than five times as often as the workforce in general. To keep this from becoming a legal and financial problem for your business, a janitorial contract safety manual/ janitorial IIPP is needed for every janitorial worker.
Cleaning Material Safety
Often the most dangerous aspect of janitorial work is using the cleaning solutions that are needed during the course of the job. Virtually any cleaning solution presents health concerns when not used properly. An even bigger danger is the possibility of mixing substances together that can create toxic fumes. A janitorial contract safety manual/ janitorial IIPP should cover the major cleaning substances and how to use them safely.
In case of an accident with these substances, janitorial workers should know how to treat the problem quickly. How to use eye wash stations and when they are needed are vital parts of a janitorial manual.
Using Cleaning Tool and Machinery
The tools that are needed for janitorial services can put workers at risk of slips, falls, electrical accidents and ergonomic problems if they don’t have the proper training. Because they deal so often with wet, slippery conditions, simple slips are common, and they can result in serious injuries. Understanding how to prevent slips during cleaning can reduce the number of accidents significantly.
Electrical hazards are another serious concern for employers. The machinery used by janitors must be used correctly every time. A thorough training with each machine as well as studying a janitorial contract safety manual/ janitorial IIPP ensures that workers are as safe as possible from electrical and other injuries from these machines.
Because janitorial work is manual labor, it poses a number of unique hazards to workers. Being able to stand for long periods, use force to wring mops, guide large floor buffers and bend to pick up trash can be hard on the body long term if the proper ergonomic training isn’t in place. With training from a janitorial contract safety manual/ janitorial IIPP, workers can learn how to bend correctly to reduce strain, lift without causing back injuries and how to use the least force needed to accomplish the best results.
What many employers don’t consider when conducting training is that janitors are often the target of robberies and assaults because they are generally the last ones in the building. They may also be targeted because they have access to the necessary keys needed to find valuables. Training janitors for these serious situations is an important part of their overall safety training. How to react safely when a robbery is in progress can save them and those around them from unnecessary dangers.
The training that every janitor needs to stay safe empowers each janitorial worker to identify dangerous situations and to keep management informed when a safety hazard exists. This can result in fewer injuries for everyone in the office and keep them from long-term hazards to their health.