Common Hazards and Injuries
Cleaning professionals are exposed to a variety of workplace hazards while completing their daily tasks. Any injury or illness which results from work-related causes qualifies for Workers' Compensation. Vicky Adams of Impact Products, a leader in the cleaning supplies industry, identifies five main hazard categories:
There are a few different forms of biological cleaning hazards. Workers may be exposed to these through inhalation, skin absorption, and incidental ingestion. Specific hazards include:
- Viruses and bacteria
Cleaning staff may be exposed to harmful chemicals present in cleaning products as well as chemicals generated by the cleaning process. Like the biological hazards, exposure can happen through inhalation, skin contact, and incidental ingestion. Examples include:
- Acids in chemical cleaning products such as toilet cleaners
- Alkaline agents in degreasing products
- Solvents in floor cleaners, degreasers, disinfectants, detergents, and waxes
- Formaldehyde used as a preserving agent
A cleaner's environment also presents several physical hazards which could lead to health complications:
- Repetitive movements
- Loud equipment
- Poorly designed tools (nonergonomic)
- Vibrating equipment
- Slip, trip, and fall dangers
Many professional cleaners work in confined spaces, which can be dangerous if the ventilation system is lacking. Nighttime cleaners are at a higher risk since many buildings turn off their HVAC systems when employees leave for the day. These workers may be exposed to harmful chemical fumes from their cleaning products.
Stressful work environments are often detrimental to employee health. Cleaners may get stressed out by:
- Inadequate training
- Lack of communication with supervisors
- Poor work organization
- Subpar working conditions
These problems not only cause stress, they always increase the likelihood of a work-related injury. Common serious injuries faced by professional cleaners include:
- Respiratory illnesses, such as asthma
- Bacterial and fungal infections
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Skin, eye, and nose irritation
- Sprains and broken bones
- Burns and scars
Compensation Options For Injured Workers
If you're a cleaning professional who's been injured on the job, you are eligible to file a Workers' Comp claim. However, many workers run into complications while attempting to secure this financial compensation. Claims are often denied the first time around and require a lengthy appeals process. Having a trusted work injury lawyer by your side is the best way to maximize your chances of winning a claim.
If your injuries are permanent, you may also qualify for benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance.
Additionally, if you believe that a defective cleaning product resulted in your injury or illness, you may have the option to file a personal injury claim for further damages.
These cases are complex and often require the guidance of a lawyer who has experience fighting for workers' rights. You have enough on your plate while you recover from a serious work injury. At Monheit Law, our work injury lawyers are prepared to evaluate your case in a free consultation and determine the best gameplan for recovering the compensation you deserve, while you focus on your recovery.