According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 888,220 workers in the private industry sustained a workplace injury or illness resulting in at least one day of missed work in 2019. The BLS also reports that the cleaning industry employed over 2.3 million people that same year, with the number of jobs it provides predicted to rise by 4% by 2029.
Professional cleaning carries inherent risks just like other industries. There are certain injuries cleaners are more likely to acquire while working.
1. Exposure injuries
Cleaners often find themselves exposed to dangerous chemicals, either through the materials they use or the substances they clean. Those performing health industry-related cleanup may find themselves coming in contact with bloodborne pathogens that may make them ill. Exposure to excessive vibrations from the equipment they use may, over time, damage their nerves or blood vessels, causing pain and a loss in bodily dexterity. To minimize the impacts of these hazards, individuals need to wear the proper protective equipment and follow safety regulations.
2. Exertion injuries
Individuals in the cleaning industry also have to bend over, squat, lift and do other motions repetitively. This may lead to them hurting their backs or shoulders from lifting too much weight or otherwise straining themselves and developing musculoskeletal injuries. They may also sustain repetitive strain injuries.
3. Slip and fall injuries
Since they often have to clean up wet messes and walk on slippery floors, cleaners are also susceptible to slipping and hurting themselves. A bad fall may lead to a broken bone, sprain, concussion or other serious injuries.
Professional cleaners hurt in the course of doing their jobs may have recourse to obtain compensation. They may also be eligible to receive workers’ compensation.