Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Zen of Cleaning Safety tips continue

Since I have brought up the subject of office safety, I would fall short of my goal if I did not mention how to handle the cleaning supplies you will find in the janitor's closet.

Please, do not handle the cleaning supplies in the janitor's closet.

If you must, please read the labels. Yes, they smell pretty, yes they look just like some of the stuff you use at home. No, none of them are available to you at the supermarket. We buy commercial grade products from legitimate supply distributors and manufacturers. Many times these products are dangerous if not handled and used properly. It is why you will see a MSDS book in every closet. The Material Safety Data Sheets in those books match the chemicals found in the bottles.
This is per OSHA Codes, laws and standards that we must adhere.

Why am I writing about this today? Last night, I stopped in at one of my accounts and there was a woman, in the cafeteria, washing off some plates with a spray bottle from my cleaners cart. When I approached I noticed that she was using a bathroom disinfectant cleaner to clean her dishes. I then tried to explain to her that this was wrong and dangerous, unfortunately she didn't speak a word of English. In my limited capacity to speak Spanish, I got across the basic message of Parada and Peligroso.

Somehow, this woman wandered into the janitor's closet, saw cleaning chemicals and just borrowed a bottle. What would have happened if I had not seen this. Who would be to blame if she or any of her co-workers got ill from this?

We as cleaning business owners, understand that while our equipment and supplies are stored in closets in your buildings that they may be subject to use from time to time. Al l we ask is that a little oversight, control and definitely some label reading is done prior to use.