Contributed by AFFLINK
Crime and violence in the United States are on the rise. This is happening across the country and in all types of communities, large and small.
According to the Council of Criminal Justice, homicides jumped 15% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Rates of aggravated assault were higher in the first half of 2021 than in 2020. And the Motor vehicle theft rates have increased by a staggering 21 percent. *
Since most cleaning work is done late at night in empty buildings and on deserted streets, cleaning workers can be particularly vulnerable to these types of crimes.
“Their safety is our concern at AFFLINK,” says Michael Wilson of AFFLINK, a leading sales and marketing organization for the jan/san industry. “And now, as buildings are reopening across the country, that concern has grown.”
AFFLINK advises cleaning contractors and cleaning workers to take the following steps to ensure their safety on the job:
1. Visit their client’s facility to find out where all the entrances and exits are. Be aware that entrances and exits can be hidden in storage areas and unlikely areas.
2. When driving to work, always park in a well-lit area.
3. Work in pairs; if you are going to a facility in separate cars, wait for your colleague to arrive before entering the building.
4. If a normally locked door is unlocked or open, do not enter. Call a supervisor, emergency number or the police.
5. If you must walk on a public road, always walk facing traffic. This way cars can see you and you can see them.
6. If you are walking in a parking lot or on the street, keep your head up; don’t look at your phone. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times. In the security industry, we talk about situational awareness.
7. Know where first aid equipment is stored; better yet, put first aid supplies in every janitorial closet.
8. Train workers on what to do in an emergency, who to call and where to go.
“This last step is crucial,” says Wilson. “Often, after an incident, people don’t know what to do. This wastes valuable time. Know what action to take immediately.
*Study published in July 2021.
For additional coverage from CleanLink on employee safety, click here.