Those who work in cleaning services may seem to have a benign profession. However, they face numerous dangers while on the job. Some may think cleaning formulas are the only type of physical hazard this industry has. However, the situation for cleaning services workers is more complicated.
Types of Industry Risks
Those performing cleaning services face threats grouped into several main categories.
- Biological hazards, including mold, fungi, bacteria, and dangerous pathogens
- Poor air quality, which often occurs because many HVAC systems in facilities are programmed to shut down around 6 p.m.
- Unmanaged stress due to lack of education about new procedures and equipment
- Physical dangers, including noise, repetitive movements, and vibrating equipment
- Chemical dangers
While environmentally friendly and safer cleaners are becoming popular, those working in cleaning services still often are required to use dangerous and even toxic cleaning formulas with hazardous ingredients. This can also be true of so-called green cleaners. These chemicals can lead to a variety of health problems, including breathing difficulties from fumes. Therefore, cleaners are both a chemical hazard and also a type of physical danger.
Employers should train workers on how to handle and use cleaners safely. Workers should know how to properly operate every piece of equipment they are required to use. Air quality must be considered, and solutions sought in conjunction with managers of the facilities being cleaned. Face masks and gloves, for example, might be an important part of cleaning workers’ outfits.
Cleaning services employees face numerous hazards while working, but foresight can reduce and manage these risks.