How to Handle Chemicals

Accidents happen. This is one reason why the U.S. Department of Labor continues to list cleaning and custodial work as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, mainly due to the many accidents involving chemicals that occur each year.

A Few Tips to Stay Safe:

  • Keep a list of the cleaning chemicals your facility uses. The list should include details on each chemical, such as how many gallons (and multiple-gallon containers) are stored, where they are stored, and the potential hazards and necessary precautions.
  • Make sure employee’s  know exactly what the following “signal words” mean:
    • Caution: the product should be used floor cleaning with a mopcarefully but is relatively safe.
    • Warning: the product is moderately toxic.
    • Danger: the product is highly toxic and may cause permanent damage to skin and eyes.
    • Keep Safety Data Sheets for each chemical used or stored.
    • Keep all cleaning chemicals in their original containers to avoid mix-ups.
    • Never mix chemicals, even if they are the same “type” of chemical.
    • Store chemicals in well-ventilated area away from HVAC intake vents to prevent any fumes from spreading to other areas of the facility.


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Andy Gail small_jpg

Andy Gail is a Facility Solutions Manager at Betco®. To contact a customer service representative, send an e-mail to

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