Cleaning chemicals can be friends or foes when using them in commercial kitchens. Chlorine, ammonia and iodine are the most commonly used sanitation chemicals but they can seriously harm your employees. To reduce cleaning-related risks, we’ve compiled a laundry list of hazards and how to prevent them.
- Soaps and detergents can cause skin irritation.
- Being allergic to latex isn’t uncommon these days, choose non-latex gloves for your workers and play it safe.
- Nicks, cuts and other injuries can foster an infection from hazardous chemicals.
- Chemicals like oven/grill cleaners and drain openers can cause burns to the skin and eyes.
- Chlorine and ammonia can cause respiratory harm, skin and eye irritation and death, especially if they are mixed together.
- Advice for your employees:
- Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as aprons, gloves and goggles when needed, to protect the body from hazardous materials.
- Mix chemicals to recommended concentrations: strong solutions can be extremely harmful and a waste of money.
- Never mix chlorine and ammonia since this is a recipe for a highly poisonous gas.
- Read the labels: follow instructions carefully for proper handling.
- Label your cleaning products to prevent the risk of mixing the wrong chemical or even worse, poisoning someone.
As a restaurant manager consider training your employees for the proper use of cleaning chemicals and what to do in case of an emergency. Switch to eco-friendly cleaners if possible, they are safer for everyone. Store and dispose of chemicals safely and provide your employees with the necessary equipment to prevent any type of harm or accident.
Become familiar with the “Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standards” to prevent any type of mishap regarding these issues.