Cleaning supply safety

Woman cleaning office

Keeping your facility clean and sanitized is an important part of making it safe. Your cleaning routine is a demanding task, which is complicated by the need to safely use and store poisonous cleaning supplies when small children are around. One of our recent claims involved a young child who drank bleach, which had been poured out of its original container into a plastic cup.

Here are some tips from the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) to help keep
your center safe.
  • Keep poisonous cleaners in their original containers.
  • Never use food containers such as cups or bottles to store household and chemical products.
  • Read and follow the directions and caution labels on household and chemical products before using them.
  • Never mix household and chemical products together. For example, mixing chlorine bleach and ammonia creates deadly chlorine gas.
  • Turn on fans and open windows when using household and chemical products.
  • Wear protective clothing—long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks, shoes, and gloves—when spraying pesticides. They are easily absorbed through the skin and can be extremely poisonous. Stay away from areas that have recently been sprayed.
  • Never sniff containers to discover what is inside. This sets a bad example for children who might see you.
  • Discard old or outdated products. First aid instructions on product containers may be incorrect or outdated.

The National Health and Safety Performance Standard requires you to store toxic materials in a locked room or cabinet, fitted with a child-resistive opening device, inaccessible to children, separate from medications and food.

If anyone ingests a poison, never induce vomiting unless instructed by the AAPCC. Keep their number

handy: 800-222-1222. If the child has collapsed and is not breathing, call 911.

Woman cleaning office
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.