The 5 Hazards of Professional Cleaning

Janitorial work is often listed as one of the most dangerous professions in the U.S.

Biological hazards. This would include exposure to infectious pathogens, bacteria, fungi, or mold.

Chemical hazards. Many cleaning chemicals contain a variety of ingredients that may be toxic and health-threatening if touched or inhaled; this could also include green cleaning chemicals, especially if they are not used properly or are mishandled.

Physical hazards. Often overlooked, the physical hazards of cleaning include such things as using “noisy” cleaning equipment, equipment that vibrates, tools that are not ergonomically designed, as well as cleaning tasks that require considerable repetitive movement such as vacuuming or mopping floors.

Poor indoor air quality. In many large facilities, HVAC systems are now designed to turn off at 6 p.m. during the weekday and off entirely over the weekend. If a cleaning worker is working in an enclosed area, the fumes from powerful cleaning chemicals could result in health-risking indoor air quality.

Stress. Again, it’s not always recognized as a hazard, but stress is common among cleaning workers if they do not feel adequately trained to perform their cleaning tasks, there is poor communication with supervisors, poor work organization, poor working conditions, overexertion, and when new cleaning tools, equipment, or procedures are introduced.

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