Staying safe when carrying out essential clean duties is largely a matter of simple common sense. Unfortunately, it takes only the slightest lapse in judgment to trigger the kind of accident or incident with potentially devastating consequences.
This is particularly true when handling cleaning chemicals – especially those of a strong and nature used for industrial and commercial cleaning jobs. Which is precisely why it is a subject we return to on a regular basis, so for those who routinely go about minor or major workplace cleaning duties, be sure to work in accordance with the following tips:
1. First of all, never underestimate just how dangerous a standard bleach can be. Contrary to popular belief, bleach is responsible for more cleaning chemical-related accidents than any other product. From severe chemical burns to respiratory problems to blindness, a simple splash of bleach in the wrong place can have a devastating effect.
2. While it may come across as unnecessary at the time, wearing appropriate eye protection and gloves while handling chemicals should be considered mandatory. Even though in all likelihood you will not find yourself in harm’s way, it still makes sense to protect yourself from the unexpected. If the appropriate PPE is not available, refuse to handle chemical products.
3. Remember the importance of adequate ventilation at all times when using any chemical cleaning products at all. Even if the weather isn’t exactly idyllic outside, open the windows, keep doors open and never use cleaning chemicals in confined spaces.
4. For reasons that should be relatively obvious, it is never a good idea to use chemical cleaning products in the presence of open flames or extreme sources of heat.
5. These days, it is rare to come across any individual who would knowingly make the mistake of mixing two chemical cleaning products together. However, to pour one product into the container of another which although empty may still have traces of the previous product inside can be extremely dangerous. For example, when ammonia and bleach are mixed together, the chemical reaction can give off toxic fumes which have the potential to be fatal.
6. It is also important to ensure that cleaning chemicals are only ever used for the exact purposes for which they were intended. This means never making assumptions with regard to which products can be used for which purposes, but fully reading and acknowledging the instructions instead. If it doesn’t say it is suitable for the job, it shouldn’t be used.
7. An obvious tip but important nonetheless, cleaning chemicals should be handled with extreme care at all times. This means taking your time, giving them your full attention and being aware of your surroundings whenever you are using or carrying them. After all, it isn’t just your own health and wellbeing you should be looking out for.
8. Last but not least, it’s worth remembering that use and over use of chemical cleaning products around the office can do a number on air quality and the general health and safety of the place. There are plenty of safer, more environmentally friendly products available to consider, along with the services of professional cleaning companies which guarantee safe and superior results, every time.