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Ways to Reduce Injury Risk to Janitors

Janitors and those in the cleaning industry often face many hazards on a day to day basis. So many in fact, that the U.S. Department of Labor classifies cleaning and custodial work as a high-risk job due to the 40,000+ job-related accidents or illnesses the industry faces each year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 40% of the accidents in the janitorial services sector result in musculoskeletal injuries, most commonly caused by trips, slips, falls, and encounters with equipment and sharp objects. Other common incidences of injury include overexertion from lifting, hearing issues, burns and coming in direct contact with hazardous substances.

CleanFreak’s Top Janitorial Safety Tips

Proper Training

Make sure all employees are fully trained on how to operate cleaning equipment, as well as applying any chemicals. Also provide continual training to reinforce which types of protective items must be worn, review areas where harsh chemicals shouldn’t be used such as small or poorly ventilated areas and make sure flammable chemicals are kept far away from heat sources.

Avoiding Muscle & Joint Injuries

To avoid ergonomic injuries, make sure anyone that will be moving around equipment knows how to lift safely by bending at the knees and not the waist. Repetitive motions can cause serious muscle and joint injuries. Varying activities or investing in ergonomically designed equipment like backpack vacuums can reduce the physical burden for cleaners.

Related article: The Benefits of Battery Powered, Cordless Cleaning Equipment

Avoiding Slips, Trips and Falls

Always use wet floor signs or caution tape at all entrances to areas where floors or stairs are being washed to avoid injuries to others. Using rubber-soled or athletic shoes with a good grip are the best type of footwear to avoid slips as well as trying to avoid walking across wet floors.

Spatial awareness is key to avoid tripping over any equipment cords, mats and other objects on the floor while cleaning.

Never stand on chairs, tables or other objects to reach high areas. Use a sturdy ladder or step stool and make sure it’s in good working condition.

Have a Safety Plan

Reviewing safety protocols and OSHA’s standards for the cleaning industry with your team at various times throughout the year is always a good idea. Also, review equipment and safety items regularly, to assure you and your team have the proper safety tools that are needed depending on the environment you’re working in. Necessary protection items like rubber gloves and face masks should always be on hand.

We know safety is a top priority. offers a broad range of protective and safety items to help keep you and your team safe at any job site.

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