In early November 2019 in Burlington, MA, a Buffalo Wild Wings employee accidentally mixed an acid-based cleaner with bleach when cleaning their kitchen floors. This caused for toxic fumes to generate and fill the air, resulting in one fatality and up to 13 injuries to other customers and workers. This tragic occurrence should be viewed by all members of the janitorial industry as an example as to why proper chemical use training is vitally important. Mixing unknown chemicals can be extremely dangerous and should always be avoided.
At C.M. Cleaning, we spend ample time educating our staff of the dangers of mixing unknown chemicals. Using chemicals with appropriate dilution, labeling, and instruction is key to a safe workplace. We work hard at being knowledgeable of our cleaning chemicals, ensuring our dispensing equipment is in working order, and that our bottles and storage our properly labeled. When it comes to chemical use, safety is top priority! For your own personal health and safety, please see the helpful tips below
- Never mix any cleaning products. Even if a chemical mixture does not give off fumes, it can still be dangerous. Once used, some cleaning products can leave behind residue or low quantities of liquid that may be harmful to the skin. Without the proper training, one may not know that combining seemingly harmless cleaning products can still be dangerous.
- Bleach and mixed products. Mixing bleach with any product can lead to the generation of toxic chlorine gas which may result in a variety of respiratory illnesses or even death. It is crucial to take an incident where bleach is mixed with cleaning products very seriously.
- If chemicals are mixed, here are the next steps to take.
- At first sign of a gaseous substance or respiratory distress, immediately evacuate the area and move to a well-ventilated area, preferably the outdoors. Do not attempt to clean up the mixture yourself.
- If you have inhaled any amount of gas or suspect that you have, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. If you have not inhaled any gas, call poison control and have all relevant Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) ready and available.