One week ago today, a newborn daughter lost her father.
One week ago today, a newlywed wife lost her husband.
One week ago today, a man lost his life.
All of this happened because of cleaning chemicals. Yes, it was an accident, but it was a preventable one. Two chemicals, an acid used for descaling dishwashers was spilled on the floor and not cleaned up. The floor was then mopped with a chlorinated product. You might think this doesn’t happen often, but in 2017 it did over 2200 times.
The two mixed together and a deadly gas was created. 13 people went to the hospital and one never left.
The Academy has many classes throughout the year, and in all of them, we focus on the safety of the frontline worker. Please consider attending a professional development course and help keep accidents like this from happening.
Have you ever found a trigger sprayer that lasted the way you wanted, worked the way you wanted and was economical? So I say, ban the trigger sprayer and don’t use them. Why continue to waste money on something that doesn’t work?
Now, there are other reasons I say this and top on the list is that trigger sprayers take cleaning solutions and aerosolized them to a point that the Technician is then inhaling the toxicity of the product being used.
I realize that there might not be a great amount of exposures at a time, however, immediate exposures to toxic products over a long period of time, result in chronic issues for frontline staff members. In an industry which promotes, “Spray and Wipe”, I implore you to “Ban the Sprayer” and replace it with a FLIP TOP.
Oh, and if you are one of the operations who is continually purchasing triggers sprayers only to have them leak, fall apart or just plain quit working, the FLIP TOP will continue to work as long as the bottle it is put on. Why spend budget dollars on something which doesn’t work, wastes product and can harm health?
Here is a situation which happened to Darrel Hicks when he was managing an Environmental Services staff at a hospital where he put in 34 years as the head of the department.
My facility had a visit from an OSHA Inspector in June of 1998. In the course of the inspection, the OSHA inspector mentioned to me about spray-triggers creating an atomized mist of the disinfectant that was being inhaled into the lungs of my staff. He asked me, “Are you aware that it is an occupational hazard for housekeepers to be breathing disinfectants or other cleaning chemicals into their lungs?” I replied, “Yes, I have read about that happening but it is a rather small population of housekeepers that have developed chronic lung diseases.” That’s when he pointed to the “FREE FROM RECOGNIZED HAZARDS that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees” in the General Duty Clause.
As I and my facility learned the hard way, the General Duty Clause states: “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” This particular OSHA Inspector interpreted this to include the use of disinfectants in particular when they are being sprayed.
During my ISSA Master Green Technician certification class last week, one of my students was so taken by this simple change that he wanted to make note of it on my weekly LIVE broadcast, Beyond Clean With Dave. Check out what Jason Moore has to say on the subject at the 4 minute mark of this broadcast.
While you or your operation may never see an OSHA inspector or have a fine levied against you, there are more reasons to BAN THE SPRAYER than to keep them. If you really want to send a message to your staff that management is concerned about their health, start by making this simple, economical and proactive change today.
Start making those changes; make them healthy, positive and proactive.
Remember my mantra, “I am a Janitor and I Save Lives”.
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“The future is won by those creating the future…and not the ones trying to maintain the status quo.”