Pop quiz! Who’s the one person in your building that can do more to keep your employees safe than just about anyone else? The janitor! When putting a safety plan into place, be sure you don’t overlook that hard-working person you pass daily in the hall.
So why does the janitor play such a major role in workplace safety? They’re responsible for using the right cleaning chemicals in different situations and for mixing them correctly. They also can be responsible for preventing many other types of hazards in your building, so make sure they’re well trained. Show them where hazards can occur and what they can do to keep them from occurring. Help them think of themselves as safety experts, not just cleaning experts.
For example, on a snowy or windy day, people entering and exiting the building are walking hazards because they’re tracking water and ice right in. Mats are the perfect way to combat this hazard and janitors should know how to use them. A mat that scrapes away debris, like mud, ice, and snow, should be outside the door, while a mat that absorbs water should be directly inside the door. Mats should be cleaned regularly and cared for well, and janitors should pay attention in case a corner of one flips up causing a tripping hazard.
Caution signs are also a janitor’s best friend. If the floor is wet, these signs should be placed in conspicuous spots. But the janitor’s job isn’t done there. He or she should remain in the area, taking care of the wet floor until it’s dry again.
So celebrate your janitors! They work hard and play an important role in your building’s safety.