How Has The COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Janitorial Staff?

City Wide Facility Solutions
Published on April 19, 2021


What Experiences did Janitors Share During the Pandemic?

While we highly regard janitorial crews for their ability to brave this pandemic by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, janitors across the globe remarked they were concerned they could both potentially transmit and contract the SARS-COV2 pathogen (the pathogen that leads to COVID-19). They worried they would be more prone to spreading the virus to their loved ones and those around them. One janitor in Minnesota remarked how after each shift, she runs the risk of bringing the virus home to her family. She is not an anomaly. Many janitors have expressed fervent concern in this regard because they have to put themselves in situations where they could potentially be exposed.

Janitorial Staff Were More Prone to Virus Exposure  

Surface disinfection, high-touch surface disinfection, electrostatic disinfection, and other disinfection methods are required to mitigate potential exposure. With this, comes staff having to come in contact or proximity with surfaces that are likely to contain harmful pathogens. These men and women were put on the front line for ridding the virus from commercial settings, including instances where occupants were not permitted to work from home. There has also been a noticeable pattern in janitorial staff still coming into work when sick, further potentially spreading COVID-19. It is a difficult predicament when it’s either miss potential wages and health benefits, or risk contracting the virus. This is especially troublesome when staff does not have access to sufficient PPE.

Unions Struggled to Acquire Sufficient PPE

You may recall towards the beginning of the pandemic when essential sanitation supplies and PPE were hard to come by. Due to the high demand for PPE, new strategies had to be introduced, such as having re-usable masks, rationing gloves, and having alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Even today, PPE is in extremely high demand. Unions are still struggling to procure a sufficient amount for staff. Not having sufficient PPE places janitorial staff in a dangerous position where they do not have the protection that they need when working. Along with proper protection, staff also need to be trained and educated about new industry-standard disinfection techniques.

Janitorial Staff Had to Learn New and Safer Disinfection Procedures

Since the beginning of the pandemic, demand for janitorial and sanitation-related jobs has skyrocketed. With this comes a new wave of disinfection methods that staff will need to be trained on. Methods such as electrostatic disinfection had to be introduced for large-scale commercial settings. With this, comes the need for both specialized roles and a higher demand for janitorial staff. With more staff, comes a higher need for janitorial staff management. This is where facility management companies such as City Wide can be an invaluable asset. Not only will businesses have a larger janitorial staff to manage, but they will have to procure janitorial services that can perform specialized sanitation techniques.

City Wide Facility Solutions cares deeply for its employees and contractors and has processes in place to keep everyone safe on the job. If you require janitorial services, including disinfection services specific to COVID-19, City Wide can find and manage the right crew for you.