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Janitors face more than the usual work injury hazards

If you are a commercial building cleaner or janitor in San Diego, you are at a higher risk of suffering work-related injuries than workers in most other industries. Not only must you deal with general workplace hazards, but also those inherent in the facility for which you are responsible. Even though you do a lot of your work out of the public eye, you play a significant role in maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of commercial buildings.

Your job makes you indirectly responsible for the heath of many individuals, even though they might hardly ever have contact with you. Furthermore, if you work in a remote area or at odd hours, you could become a victim of crime or assault.

Fall hazards

Same-level fall hazards will be ever-present, especially when you mop floors. Although you put out wet-floor warning signs to protect others, you have to move about those wet and slippery areas. Randomly placed objects can present trip-and-fall hazards, and maintaining good housekeeping as you go about your job can prevent most falls. Depending on the surroundings, a fall could leave you with bruises, cuts or even burns. If you strike your head against a hard object, you could suffer a traumatic brain injury.

Musculoskeletal disorders

Overexertion typically causes musculoskeletal disorders. Heavy lifting and improper handling of buckets filled with water and other heavy objects are known to cause back injuries as you lift, pull, push or carry them. Repetitive motions such as when you have to clean the floors of large areas can cause repetitive stress injuries that could lead to several days off work.

Biological Hazards

The nature of your job could expose you to bodily fluids and blood-borne pathogens. If you have to clean up areas in the facility where workplace injuries or accidents took place, it will exacerbate the risks. Take particular care when you have to handle sharp objects or needles. Make sure you are familiar with the proper way to deal with and dispose of contaminated equipment and materials, and always wear the necessary personal protective equipment.

Chemical hazards

Along with your regular contact with cleaning chemicals, you might also have to deal with cleaning up chemical spills caused by others. Being familiar with the smells and colors of different substances like acids, caustic materials, and other chemicals is a good idea. The nature of your job will not leave you with a choice about handling chemicals, and for that reason, taking precautions against poisoning and infection risks will be up to you.

Mobile equipment or objects

Your job can put you in the path of vehicles or other kinds of mobile equipment or moving objects. Be aware that the person operating the equipment might be too focused on his or her task to take note of your presence. If a moving vehicle or equipment strikes you or knocks you down, you could suffer life-changing injuries or worse.

Are you aware of your rights to compensation?

Not all janitors are aware of their rights to workers' compensation benefits. An experienced San Diego attorney can explain your rights and assist with the navigation of benefits claims along every step of the way. Your compensation will cover your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages.

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