March 09

Safety Tips for Handling Cleaning Chemicals

The US Department of Labor continually lists cleaning and custodial work as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. This is due mostly to the high probability of accidents involving chemicals that occur each year. Here at NIP Group with our MaintenancePro program, we encourage cleaning professionals to develop a safety program for their cleaning chemicals. Some key components include:

  • Be sure to document all cleaning chemicals used on site. This list should include details of how many gallons are stored, where they are stored, and the potential hazards of, and necessary precautions for, each specific chemical.
  • Create Safety Data Sheets for each chemical used, and never mix chemicals even if they are the same type of chemical.
  • All chemicals should be stored in well-ventilated areas far from HVAC intake vents. This helps to prevent any fumes from spreading to other areas.
  • Safety signs are very important to have on site. Consider having signs that use images, not words. If this is not possible, the next best option is to have signs in multiple languages. All signs must follow OSHA’s standards.
  • Cleaning workers should know exactly what the following “signal words” mean:
    • Caution: product should be used carefully, but is relatively safe.
    • Warning: product is moderately toxic.
    • Danger: product is highly toxic and may cause permanent damage to skin and eyes.


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