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Janitors in Washington state have an elevated risk of injury: survey

Photo: deepblue4you/iStockphoto

Tumwater, WA — Nearly 1 out of 5 janitors in Washington state say they were injured on the job in the past year, results of a recent survey show.

“This is more than usually reported by workers in other jobs,” the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries says in a recent edition of its Janitorial Workload Newsletter.

Researchers, on behalf of the Washington L&I, surveyed 660 janitors from across the state via phone and mail as well as online. Of those, 91% reported sometimes or often having to work “very fast,” while 17% never or seldom have enough time to complete their job.

Other findings:

  • Rushing was reported as one of the leading causes of injury, with 15% of the janitors saying they’re “likely or extremely likely” to slip, trip or fall on the job.
  • 33% rated the quality of their tools or equipment as “poor” or “fair.” Among this group, 35% said it negatively impacts their job, causing slowdowns or forcing them to work harder.
  • 14% aren’t provided with adequate, quality cleaning supplies.

“These findings are similar to a survey of over 500 Australian cleaners, where 91% reported having to rush their work, and 80% reported not having enough cleaning equipment to do a quality job,” Washington L&I states.


The survey is part of the Washington State Janitorial Workload Study, designed by the Washington L&I Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention Program to determine risk factors that janitorial workers face on the job.

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