Risks of Working in the Janitorial Industry
The Miami Herald has reported that officers recently located two janitorial custodians who never came home from a workday at the California school they were employed by. The two missing custodians, a 32-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, were found incapacitated inside the library of the middle school after a mysterious chemical smell led authorities to them. The woman was taken to a local hospital for treatment but sadly, the male janitorial worker had already died by the time that help arrived. The respective families had reported both school workers missing after they failed to return after their shifts the night before. Authorities have stated that they haven’t yet found signs of toxic chemicals at the scene itself, but the investigation is continuing.
Hazards of the Janitorial Industry
Custodians, who are also known as janitors and cleaning personnel, are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and order of a wide variety of businesses and government entities. They are primarily the reason why establishments like schools, hospitals, and retail stores are able to maintain a level of needed tidiness. However, these employees are unfortunately susceptible to a variety of injuries on the job due to both the tasks the industry requires and the types of cleaning products that need to be used. Potential hazards of the industry include:
- Toxic chemical exposure. Unfortunately, the ingredients contained in the bulk of commercial cleaning solutions can have adverse reactions when janitorial workers are exposed to them as indicated in the tragic example outlined above.
- Musculoskeletal injuries. Moving almost constantly for hours at a time such as the bending, lifting and walking janitorial work involves takes its toll on the human body and often begins to affect the back, legs, and feet over time.
- Fall hazards. The establishments that utilize janitorial workers often have a high volume of visitors which means that surfaces can easily become slick from liquid and materials that create a slip-and-fall accident hazard.
The Statistics Behind the Risks
The good news is that data indicates that while janitorial work is one of the occupations that has high numbers of nonfatal injuries, it is also indicative of few fatal injuries. According to statistics published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, janitors and cleaners had the third highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses in 2015. But while there were almost 43,000 nonfatal injuries, 42,740, only about 40 people in the janitorial industry were injured in a way that was fatal.
Have You Been Injured While Working as a Janitor?
If you have been injured on the job while performing your job duties whether janitorial work or something else, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Having the help of a legal professional on this journey can be invaluable in successfully obtaining the benefits you deserve. As the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates, work-related injuries account for a significant number of the clients who seek legal representation at our law firm, so we have gained insight over the years from a wide variety of situations. We use our years of legal experience and in-depth knowledge of the law to help our clients achieve success. We are ready to assist you every step of the way as soon as you contact us for a free consultation.