Cleaning chemicals in Boston make our windows shine, our restrooms sanitary and our floors look their best, but when they aren’t properly handled, the result can be disastrous.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 2.8 million people are exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals every day in the cleaning industry.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that their janitorial teams know how to handle hazardous chemicals, and the best way to do that is to create a comprehensive cleaning chemical safety program.
Key Components of a Safety Program for Using Cleaning Supplies in Boston
Your cleaning chemical safety program should include a list of all the cleaning chemicals used in your facility, including how many gallons are stored, where they are kept and a detailed list of the potential hazards associated with each product. Necessary precautions, like storing the chemicals away from direct sunlight, should also be noted on the list.
Safety Data Sheets should be available for every chemical stored or used, and all cleaning chemicals should be stored in their original containers. Chemicals should never be mixed, even if they are the same “type” of chemical.
All chemicals should be stored in well-ventilated areas. Storing them away from HVAC intake vents will ensure that fumes won’t spread to other parts of your facility.
Safety signage in multiple languages should be installed to convey potential dangers, and all signs must follow OSHA’s Globally Harmonized System requirements. If possible, use signage that conveys dangers using images, instead of words.
All cleaning staff should understand the differences between chemical cautions, warnings and dangers. For example, “caution” means that the product should be used with care but is relatively safe, while a “danger” warning indicates that the product is highly toxic, and misuse may cause permanent damage to the eyes and skin.
Lastly, part of your chemical safety program should be removing chemicals and cleaning supplies in Boston that haven’t been used for a period of time. If a product hasn’t been used for a year, toss it.