Janitorial Safety Tips And Tools To Increase Worker Safety
Janitors are exposed to a variety of physical and chemical hazards that can lead to severe injury and even death. Therefore, it’s essential for employers to ensure worker safety at all times.
1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Keeping your workers safe at work is important for many reasons. It helps protect them from injuries and illnesses, keeps your team productive, and reduces the cost of fines for OSHA citations. Providing the right PPE for your team is crucial for safety. This includes helmets for construction workers, double-ply masks for healthcare staff, and fire-retardant workwear.
2. Wet Floor Signs
Janitors and cleaning professionals face a number of hazards on the job. But the risks they face can be minimized or eliminated by following some basic janitorial safety tips and tools. For example, it is important to always put up wet floor signs after mopping an area. This can prevent slip-and-fall accidents that could result in costly insurance claims or lawsuits. It is also important to always keep safety signs in highly accessible spots where they are likely to be needed, such as near toilets and drink dispensers.
3. Follow The Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
Janitors face a plethora of hazards on the job, but they can easily avoid most of them by following some basic safety tips and tools. One of the most important is to always follow the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, as this standard outlines how employers can protect workers from the risk of contracting diseases like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
4. Always Check Electrical Cords
Janitors are constantly working to keep sanitary conditions in restrooms. But they also need to take care of their own safety, too. One way to increase worker safety is to always check electrical cords. When employees need to use an extension cord to power up a cleaning tool or device, they should make sure that it has a proper amp rating and is not damaged. Damaged cords can cause fires, so it is essential to use only cords that have been properly rated. This process also includes inspecting for cracks, frayed wiring or exposed insulation.
5. Keep Chemicals And Equipment Safe
As janitors use cleaning products every day, it is important to always keep chemicals and equipment safe. This can include using personal protective equipment (PPE), storing and refrigerating chemicals safely, and keeping work areas clean to avoid dust accumulation. It is also crucial to properly segregate incompatible chemicals to prevent the chance that they will mix and cause a fire or explosion, burn workers or damage property. Employees should have access to a first aid kit and eyewash station in case they get injured while working with chemicals. They should also be trained in how to use these tools.
6. Follow OSHA Regulations
One of the most effective ways to ensure worker safety is to always follow OSHA regulations. These standards are proven guidelines for a safe workplace that employers can refer to when creating or improving their health and safety programs. Employees need to be trained about the specific hazards that exist in their area of the workplace. This can be done through hands-on training, classroom coursework, or blended training.
7. Good Lifting Techniques
When it comes to custodial work, it’s important for employees to know how to safely lift heavy objects and handle them. This will help to prevent injuries and allow for smoother, more productive work. Injuries that keep workers from working occur more frequently than one might think. The majority of these injuries are caused by overexertion when lifting or lowering heavy items. To reduce the risk of injury, practice good lifting techniques and limit lifts per minute to less than fifteen (15) per minute. Before picking up a load, stand close to it with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at the knees. This will give you better leverage and less strain on your back and legs.
8. Take Your Breaks
Employees need to take breaks from their job in order to stay healthy. Taking breaks helps workers avoid injury-related accidents and improves their overall work performance. Whether it’s taking a walk or talking with a coworker, a break can provide workers with a fresh perspective on a difficult problem. It can also allow them to recharge their energy levels and feel more refreshed when they return to work.
9. Keep Workspace Clutter-Free
Janitors deal with wet and slippery surfaces when mopping and scrubbing floors, so keeping the workspace free of clutter is essential for safety. Also, ensuring that walkways and exit routes remain clean is vital for avoiding tripping hazards. A cluttered space can be a major fire and fall hazard, so ensure that you wipe down shelves, work desks, and drawers regularly. If you have loose papers, organize them into their proper place and make sure you empty the trash bin daily to prevent the growth of germs and bacteria that can spread disease.
10. Always Report Injuries
When an employee is injured, it’s important that they are able to receive immediate medical treatment as soon as possible. This will help prevent symptom escalation and provide the proper treatment needed for their condition. A thorough workplace injury investigation will identify the exact cause of an accident and help businesses take steps to prevent future incidents from happening. Ultimately, this will increase worker safety and lower operational costs in the long run.