In an effort to reduce worker injuries resulting from improper chemical handling, ManageMen, a business management consulting firm for the professional cleaning industry, has partnered with WCF Insurance and WAXIE Sanitary Supply to develop “Cleaning Chemical Handlers' Resource Guide.” The nearly 100-page book is designed for any worker with exposure to chemicals used in the cleaning and maintenance of a facility.
“Cleaning chemicals can contain ingredients that can be harmful to users and others in surrounding areas if they aren’t used or stored properly,” said Ben Walker, Chief Strategy Officer, ManageMen. “As many as six percent of janitorial workers experience a job-related injuries resulting from cleaning chemicals each year—that’s almost 400,000 people. These accidents are preventable; we want to equip workers with the knowledge they need to stay safe.”
The need for chemical safety training has grown during the pandemic, due to increased disinfection efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. In April, the CDC reported that calls to poison control centers for exposures to both cleaners and disinfectants had increased by 20 percent.
"We see too many incidents of chemical-related injuries that could have been easily avoided through proper education and training," said Flint Belk, CIH, CSP, Manager of Industrial Hygiene at WCF Insurance. “Our goal is reduce avoidable risks, and we’re confident that organizations who follow the protocol specified in this program will help mitigate potential risks to their workforce.”
Designed to complement existing training programs or use as a standalone inservice for custodial workers, the resource guide provides a comprehensive chemical handling curriculum to help organizations make sure their workers understand the latest safety practices to stay compliant. It can also be used as an effective tool for businesses looking to differentiate themselves from the competition through improved safety training and reduce injury-related costs.
The workbook offers an extensive overview of common cleaning chemicals and best practices for handling and storing chemicals. Topics covered within the study guide include:
- Tips to understanding the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Standards and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
- The importance of using proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Dangers associated with slips and falls
- Cleaning up bloodborne pathogens
- Understanding the differences between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting
- An overview of the dangers associated with gasoline, battery acid and propane
- Tips for effective training