It’s That Time of Year for Spring Cleaning Cautions

Safety authorities offer tips to protect people and critters

April 12, 2019

The mild temperatures of spring inspire people to clean, from communities organizing litter pickups to homeowners scrubbing down their abodes. Safety authorities remind people to not become so enthusiastic they forget to protect themselves from injuries.

People who volunteer to clean debris from their community’s streets and parks can come in contact with various hazardous items; perhaps the most dangerous is discarded hypodermic needles. Police and other officials interviewed by WWLP News in West Springfield, MA, advise cleanup volunteers to wear puncture proof-gloves when removing trash and debris from public spaces.

CMM offers the following safety tips for janitors who may encounter needles and other sharps when emptying trash:

  • Don’t put hands, feet, or elbows in the trash.
  • Use another trash can or other hard barrier to compact trash, if necessary.
  • Use a cart when carrying out trash to dumpsters. At the very least, the custodian should carry the trash receptacle away from his/her body to avoid possible needle sticks or cuts.

People doing the cleaning aren’t the only ones at risk. Officials with the Houston, TX, Humane Society say that more pets are rushed to emergency vets for ingesting household cleaners during the spring than any other time of year, KAIT News reports. The most dangerous cleaning products for pets include rust removers, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, and calcium/lime removers. Stain guards, furniture cleaners, and spot cleaners also pose a risk since their instructions include allowing for dwell time. Humane society officials advise keeping pets away from areas that are being treated with these products.

Chemicals can also pose risks in facilities, so CMM offers tips for storing ammonia-based cleaning chemicals and other hazardous chemicals, such as properly labeling chemical bins and containers, maintaining a log of the chemicals you have on site, and scheduling weekly inspections of your chemical inventory.

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