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Risk Alert: Proper use of cleaners and safe disinfecting techniques are key

Due to the onset of COVID-19 and subsequent guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), organizations are using more chemical cleaners and disinfectants than ever before.

Unfortunately, this has given rise to more accidents including severe chemical burns. As an example, the product used to disinfect playground equipment at one of our insured’s daycares was not diluted pursuant with the label instructions prior to application. As a result, several children sustained chemical burns. One child had significant injuries requiring multiple surgeries and treatment in the ICU burn unit.

Here are some guidelines to follow to help reduce your organization’s risk of such accidents:

  1. Follow manufacturer instructions and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for proper dilution of chemicals used for cleaning and disinfecting.
  2. Wear the recommended personal protection when preparing and using those chemicals.
  3. Close or physically monitor treated areas to allow for recommended dry time.
  4. Refresh training for maintenance personnel on proper procedures for mixing and applying chemicals.
  5. Advise members, parents, guests and visitors about the increased use of cleaners and disinfectants in case of sensitivities.
  6. Have a plan in place for emergency procedures and First Aid response. Refresh training for first responders to be able to react to chemical burns quickly and effectively.
  7. Store chemicals properly to prevent accidental or unauthorized access by others. Keep flammables in a safe area.

Our Risk Control experts are here to help

If you have additional questions on the proper use of chemical cleaners and disinfectants or safely cleaning and disinfecting spaces and equipment, call Risk Control Central at (800) 554-2642 (Option 4), Ext. 5213 or visit