Custodial Workers Resource Safety Page

lifting safelyHey, lift with your knees not your back, keep object close to body.
This page contains a list of safety tips for custodians,
maintenance workers and other service workers.

Millions of workers continue to be killed, injured, and made ill
each year as a result of their working conditions.
Worker’s Memorial Day is April 28th.
“Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living”

Safety Tips:

  • Read labels on all chemical products and do not mix chemicals.
    for example: do not mix bleach with ammonia…
  • Let someone know when you are going to do ladder work.
    Do not climb when you are alone in the building.
  • Ladder: Be certain of stability. Make sure it is level and the base doesn’t slide.
  • Ladder: Be sure shoes and rungs are free of grease or mud.
  • Ladder: Don’t lean too far out.
  • Ladder: Make sure someone else is in the building, in your area or nearby. “Buddy system”.
    Bad case senario: A Friday evening…falling from tall ladder…injured horribly…not able to move and not being discovered until the following Monday
  • More ladder safety:
  • Lifting: 1. Squat close.
  • Lifting: 2. Bend knees.
  • Lifting: 3. Hold object closely to body.
  • Lifting: 4. Keep back straight.
  • Lifting: 5. Use knees and legs.
  • Lifting: Use same method (above) to set object down.
  • Lifting: Team lift if object is too heavy. Know your limits and get
    help if you need it.
  • Make sure subs know to use safety gear. Make sure these
    items are available and easy to find.
  • Make sure all shut-offs for power, water and gas are noted
    and that emergency numbers are easy to find.
  • Chemical savvy…know at least the basics such as do-not-mix-bleach-and-ammonia. Read labels. Have available Material Safety Data Sheets.
    Here’s the link…MSDS!
  • Wear proper attire….some clothing and accessories tips: don’t let warm summer weather lure you into wearing sandals. Wear ear plugs when vacuuming, mowing etc. Have items such as safety glasses, visor, dust masks, respirator, disposable gloves…
  • Cleaning science/chemistry classrooms: Avoid using cleansers and or water on counter tops, hoods and sinks in areas where chemicals have been used. Basic trash, dust and sweep is safest. Countertops and sinks should be the responsibility of the instructor. Anyone have a written policy on this for their school or district? I’d like to get some feedback on this. Thanks.The following from Agha:
  • Get training, before using power equipment.
  • Check extension cords, if they are frayed or damaged.
  • Maintenance workers use lockout/ tagout procedures
  • When using power equipment in wet places, make sure the outlets have a GFI, system.
  • More tips to come! check back again…please send me your tips!
    Let me know if you would like to have your name and where-from info included.
    ***Employee, be prepared***
    Some info I gleaned from FEMA:Information all employees should have:

    • Emergency phone numbers, cell phone numbers, pager numbers
    • The address of your building (including name of building, street name and number)
    • Building locator map showing all utility shutoffs and other important things such as:
      Water main valves
      Water lines
      Gas main valves
      Gas lines
      Electrical cutoffs
      Electrical substations
      Storm drains
      Sewer lines
      Floor plans
      Alarm and enunciators
      Fire extinguishers
      Water hydrants
      Fire suppression systems
      Designated escape routes
      Restricted areas
      Hazardous materials (including cleaning supplies and chemicals, chemistry classroom chemicals, etc)
      Locations for Emergency kits
      Two way radios, cell phones, emergency phones
      Resource lists — lists of major resources (equipment, supplies, services) that could be needed in an emergency; mutual aid agreements with other companies and government agencies.

    Find out and note:

    • Procedures for employees who perform or shut down critical operations before an evacuation
    • Emergency escape procedures and routes
    • Procedures to account for all students, visitors employees and contractors after an evacuation is completed
    • Rescue and medical duties for assigned employees
    • Procedures for reporting emergencies Names of persons or departments to be contacted for information regarding the plan
    • Earthquake:

    ***Employer, be prepared!!!***
    ! Make sure fire lanes are well marked and consistently enforce “no parking” in fire lanes and near hydrants!
    Make sure all employees have training and re-training
    Make sure substitiutes have emergency information for each building. Make sure all have phone lists and the other important emergency (building relevant) information available (wallet cards and breakroom charts)

    If we are expected to “go down with the ship” please smile at us once in awhile and ensure we’ll always have parking spaces available in our service worker’s parking lots. A decent raise and Christmas bonus would be nice too. J