Workplaces have different approaches to keeping the surroundings clean. Some will hire a cleaning company to take care of those needs on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, while other firms, depending on their setup, will ask staff to do light cleaning. No matter what the arrangements for keeping the office clean are, the one common element is that some type of cleaning agent will be used and in light of this, the cleaning agents are likely to be stored somewhere on the premises.
As long as cleaning chemicals are handled with due care, they are relatively safe. However problems can arise when they are not stored properly or they are not used as directed. Chemicals can cause serious harm, even death so it is important that everyone who can potentially come in contact with chemicals know how to treat with them.
Keep Chemicals in a Secure Area
Chemicals should be kept in a secure area that is well ventilated, but away from HVAC vents. They should not be left lying around in arbitrary places for anyone to run into them but should be carefully stored in a secure area. It’s important that they be kept away from the vents, so that in the event of any problems, the fumes will not affect persons in the office.
Listing of All Chemicals on Site
A comprehensive list of all chemicals at the workplace should be available. Information such as the name of the chemical, and the quantities on hand should be listed. The information pack should also include a Safety Data Sheet for each chemical. These sheets contain vital information of how to manage the chemicals and what to do if a first aid situation arises because of contact with the chemicals.
Keep Chemicals in Original Containers
When chemicals are supplied in large containers, there is sometimes the temptation to place some in smaller bottles or containers to make them easier to handle. This should not be done; chemicals must be kept in the container in which they were supplied to avoid mislabelling, a reaction if another type of chemical was previously stored in the container, among other effects.
Do Not Mix Chemicals
In the same way Chemicals should not be mixed. Some persons may believe, for example that by mixing “harmless” chemicals like bleach and disinfectant together for a “super “ effective cleaning agent, no harm will come of it because they are both relatively harmless chemicals. This should not be done. Unless you are a chemist, you will not be aware of the potential effects of mixing chemicals. Some chemicals will emit noxious fumes when mixed causing serious respiratory distress and others may spew from the container when another chemical is added, causing chemical burns. These types of outcomes are not uncommon so do not mix chemicals.
Signage and Signal Words
In the area in which the chemicals are stored, there should be proper signage using symbols to convey the dangers and precautions associated with the chemical. Staff who may come in contact with chemicals, even if they are ones used exclusively by a cleaning contractor but stored on premises, should also be sensitized to recognize and understand key words such as “Caution”, “Warning” and ”Danger” so they will know how to approach these chemicals and if they should approach them at all.
With a well-managed chemical storage area and staff that are trained at the very least in the basis of handling them or knowing what actions to take if they or a colleague comes into contact with them, your workplace will be safe. The key is to be aware of potential dangers and to know how to handle the situation should a problem arise.
North Kent Cleaning Services removes the hassle of keeping your workplace clean. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01634 271 173 so that we can keep your surroundings spotless!