Janitorial staff are a vital part of different industries, performing many tasks behind the scenes. Just like any other employees, those in the cleaning industry have the right to expect a safe work environment where they can do their jobs and not be harmed. Unfortunately, cleaning can present numerous occupational hazards, including some that are unique to the industry. When employers do not recognize these hazards or provide ways for their employees to avoid them, people can get hurt, and employers can be held liable for their costs.
Businesses in New York rely on janitorial workers to keep offices, universities, hospitals, and other locations clean and running smoothly. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to unsafe work conditions, please do not suffer in silence. Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353. Tell our NY personal injury attorneys about what happened so we can discuss your options and talk about the best way for you to move forward.
Whether you work at a hospital, office building, university, or hotel, there are certain dangers that you should be aware of as a janitorial worker. Some are unique to working as a cleaner, but others are a danger that every employee should keep in mind while at work. If you see hazards, be sure to report them right away to a supervisor so that they can take action to keep you safe. Common risks include:
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Chemical hazards/toxic substances
- Cleaning chemicals
- Uncontrolled hazardous energy
- Electricity and fire
- Slips, trips, and falls
When any kind of workplace injury happens, you must report it immediately to a supervisor and fill out any report necessary to show what, when, where, and how it happened. This is very important, because if you wait, your employer and its workers' compensation insurance company can try to argue that your injury may have occurred in another way or while not at work.
Common injuries from cleaning accidents and hazards include:
- Bruises, scrapes, cuts
- Broken bones
- Short-term illness
- Chronic or fatal illnesses
- Chronic pain or disability
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Chemical or thermal burns
- Electric shocks
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Recognizing the risks around you is a good way to stay safe, but your employer also needs to take steps to protect you while at work - and you need to take steps, yourself. This means avoiding dangerous chemicals and substances, if possible, with personal protective gear, including:
- Body coverings
Such protective gear should be supplied to you by your employer. Be sure to wear this gear at all times when around potentially toxic substances. If protective gear is provided and you fail to use it, you might ultimately be held liable for injuries that you sustain. While you can still file a workers' compensation claim, additional coverage for injuries or the option to file a lawsuit may be lost if you did not protect yourself.
If you or someone you love has been harmed while working in the cleaning industry in New York, we want to hear from you. Call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP at (212) 986-7353 for a free consultation with a New York injury attorney.