The dangers of the workplace for janitors cannot be ignored. Despite the efforts of the social movement Justice for Janitors, which began in 1985 and is organized under the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), janitors still have a high rate of workplace injuries.
The demanding nature of a janitor’s job, which includes tasks such as mopping floors, moving furniture, sweeping, vacuuming, washing surfaces, and cleaning bathrooms, can lead to injuries. These tasks often involve pushing, pulling, and lifting, and placing the body in awkward positions for long periods of time. This can result in various types of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affecting the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, neck, and back. Injuries to the elbows, arms, shoulders, ankles, hands, and fingers can also occur.
Chemical exposure is a significant source of workplace injuries in the janitorial industry. According to a study by Cornell University, custodians, janitors, and housekeepers may suffer from respiratory tract problems caused by inhaling aerosols, vapors, powders, dusts, and fibers. They may also experience skin burns, eye damage, and irritation from contact with cleaning liquids, skin allergies, or loss of skin pigmentation from certain types of gloves, or absorption of liquids such as solvents or disinfectants.
Other common causes of injuries for janitors include slips and falls, falls from heights, hearing damage from equipment, sleep disorders from rotating shifts or night shifts, and stress from staff cutbacks or the isolated nature of the work. This isolation can also lead to a dangerous or hostile work environment where a janitor may be bullied or harassed by tenants.
Effective risk management protocols can help mitigate these challenges, such as using personal protective equipment, providing hazardous material handling training, implementing proper procedures for spills, using non-slip footwear, using extension tools to alleviate awkward stretching and postures, using mechanical loading devices, working at an appropriate pace, and learning and utilizing proper lifting techniques.
Consulting with a Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Preventative measures require a joint effort from both the employer and employee. Despite the best efforts, accidents can still occur. In these cases, it is crucial for injured workers to seek the guidance of a skilled Workers’ Compensation lawyer.
It is important to remember that the Workers’ Compensation system operates on a no-fault basis. This means that an injured employee is not suing their employer, but rather seeking benefits. Each claim is unique, and the outcome cannot be guaranteed as it depends on various factors.
The Risk of On-the-Job Injuries for Janitors and Custodians: Seek Legal Assistance for Workers’ Compensation Claims
The Risk of On-the-Job Injuries for Janitors and custodians cannot be ignored. Whether it’s due to exposure to hazardous chemicals, slip-and-fall accidents, or repetitive stress injuries, the work of janitors can be physically demanding and dangerous. If you have filed or are considering filing a Workers’ Comp claim for an injury sustained while working as a janitor, it is crucial to seek legal assistance from a Workers’ Compensation lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights.
At the Law Office of Dr. Peter M. Schaeffer, we have experienced attorneys who specialize in Workers’ Compensation claims, including those involving on-the-job injuries sustained by janitors and custodians. As one of the best law firms in California, we have offices located throughout the state, including in major locations such as Riverside, Perris, Sun City, Corona, Temecula, Moreno Valley, San Bernardino, Hemet, Victor Valley, Beaumont, Banning, Yucca Valley, Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and Indio Brawley.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about Workers’ Compensation and receive a consultation from one of our experienced attorneys. We are dedicated to helping our clients receive the support and benefits they deserve after sustaining on-the-job injuries as janitors or custodians.