If you have cleaning responsibilities at work, follow safe work practices.

To protect workers from the hazards of cleaning products, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have produced a bulletin titled Protecting Workers Who Use Cleaning Chemicals, at www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3512.pdf.

The document addresses several subjects, including safe work practices when using cleaning chemicals. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Never mix cleaning products that contain bleach and ammonia.
  • Know which chemicals must be diluted and how to correctly dilute them.
  • Attend training and apply what you learn about the use and storage of cleaning chemicals, and about emergency spill procedures for cleaning chemicals.
  • Wear the required personal protective equipment needed for each chemical, such as gloves and/or goggles.
  • Know how to read the labels on all containers of cleaning products and chemicals to identify content and hazards. Report containers that are not labeled, and don’t use the chemicals from those containers.
  • Check with your supervisor about ventilation systems that may be needed during cleaning to allow sufficient airflow and prevent buildup of hazardous vapors.

Know where you can wash up after using cleaning chemicals.