As we are well into a year of COVID-19 affecting our daily lives, it is important to remember that we must still follow all safety measures for COVID-19 prevention. Effective disinfectant is a crucial component of decreasing the risk of exposure to COVID-19, especially in the workplace. While disinfecting the workplace is necessary, it must also be done in a safe manner to prevent health and safety hazards for workers. Below are WHMIS considerations for COVID-19 cleaning to ensure a clean and safe workplace protected from both COVID-19 and harmful chemicals.
WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) has the purpose of protecting workers in the workplace from hazards associated with different chemicals and products found in the workplace, including associated SDS (Safety Data Sheets) provided for each product. SDSs contain crucial information for safe product use, including for disinfectants, regarding its proper use, storage, first aid measures and more.
While disinfecting the workplace, a top consideration should be that cleaning is being conducted safely. Workers must be trained on how to safely work with products that may be hazardous, this can include cleaning products used to kill the COVID-19 virus.
When administrating disinfectants in the workplace, ensure the following provisions are considered:
- Read the contents of the cleaning product label in addition to the safety statements provided on the SDS
- Ensure that the SDS you are reading is correct for the product you are using
- Never mix different cleaning products and chemicals, as a hazardous reaction could develop
- Always apply the cleaning product as to how the procedure is outlined in the instructions
- Always wear the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) required for handling the specific type of product