Co Worker's Gloves Cross Contaminating!?!

Always Sparkling

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j lund
I know I have a touch of OCD but OMG!

I am a custodian in a public/office facility and share the responsibilities with another custodian older than me. We are in charge of pretty much the whole facility which includes a few locker rooms and numerous restrooms. But the restrooms are where I have the most problems.

I used to have an extremely hard time cleaning crap splatter off the back of the walls and from inside the toilets, it still makes me cringe, but the uncontrollable dry heaves have subsided. It used to take forever but now I have a lovely little routine that seems to work wonderfully for me. I feel safe and clean and my mind is at peace in the midst of scraping lougies from the urinal.

A few times a week I am recruited to work with her in specific areas. The problem is she never takes off her gloves.
She starts with the toilets first, which she flushes while bent over them...ewe! There are splats of poo all over! Then continues to clean everything, even filling paper supplies with the dirty gloves on. Okay so I can see if she is even more OCD than I and would rather spread germs than risk them on her...but that's not the case. I witnessed her answer her phone once with them still on.

I can just avoid this restroom and use the ones that I know I cleaned, but when she wears the same restroom gloves and uses the vacuum, opens outside entrance doors, touches MY janitor cart, it makes me so disgusted and I get anxious and feel like I need to wash my hands for hours and burn my clothes.

I am very consensus of where MY touch points are while my gloves are on and have made a habit of keeping my tools free of cross contamination. And I disinfect them if they ever come into contact.

She has no concept of "the things I touch with gloves, should be the things I wouldn't want to touch without".

I have tried to look for answers. Every training video never addresses this. You tube videos show the same things happening, never with raw crap being cleaned, but never mentioning cross contamination in this way. Some articles refer to contamination with gloves but only in the medical fields.

Am I going way overboard? Is the risk not big enough to worry about? Is the restroom not a bio hazard with all the tampons, diapers and other bodily fluids? Has there ever been any cases of serious infection or disease in custodians from being exposed to this? EEEEEHHHHKKKKK

What does everyone else do?
 

OldCarpetVet

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Richard Santoro
I know I have a touch of OCD but OMG!



Am I going way overboard? Is the risk not big enough to worry about?

I am not in the janitorial business, but I have enough common sense to know that what your co-worker is doing is not only disgusting, but dangerous to the health of others. So NO....You are NOT going overboard. If she/he worked for me they would be fired on the spot. You MUST report this person. And I highly doubt that re-training would help solve the problem. Old habits are hard to break.

Good luck to you and GOD Bless you. You guys and girls in the janitorial business get zero respect. What would we do without you and the garbage man???????
 

Mama Fen

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If she's wearing gloves to protect herself, and she's not changing those gloves after touching feces-contaminated surfaces, then she's not just being selfish and careless, she could be violating several OSHA standards or state regulations. This is something to mention to someone with some oversight on the situation. If any sort of outbreak (major or minor) did occur from cross-contamination of fecal coliforms, liability may indeed come back around to the cleaning crew.
 

LookNGood

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I do one janitorial account and gloves are definitely an expense. Due to the layout I end up using 4 or 5 different pairs of gloves per night.

You are spot on. I would say something to her, if she doesn't respond then I would inform whomever is in charge of her. As stated this is not only making you cringe it's actually dangerous.
 

Common janitor

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Very much understand your concern . Reminds me of the night I was speaking to another custodian while he cleaned a bathroom . Went about his business cleaning a toilet and then used the Johnny mop to clean the sink !! Lots of people in the
world have no idea about cross contamination or even the products they're using to clean with . Since I was trained how to clean in a hospital some of the things I've seen people do make me cringe as well . Most people do things three ways and this isn't just in cleaning ........
1. The RIGHT way
2. The WRONG way
3. MY WAY
Sure hope this person gets some training and follow up but like others have said ........ Old habits are hard to break .
I wish you luck .
All the Best, Ed
 

Mike Krall

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A little poo helps your immune system work more efficient and effectively :)

Seriously what kind of gloves are you guys using that they hold up for a whole shift let alone past 20 minutes without ripping?

Get yourself some of this to clean the poo splatter. After it sits for half a minute the poo just wipes off.

119808.jpg
 

SunnyDays Carpet Cleaning

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That person was never trained right, who ever hired her should be informed. Some companies think anyone can clean, but most people don't know how to do it properly. You can go to any fast food place, most of the time the person who cleans the restroom is also making your food. I went to a Chinese restaurant the other day for lunch, the person cashier was also touching food, no gloves and no wash in between.
 
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Mike Krall

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So glad it's not just me! Now I just need to get the courage to confront her :unsure: but something's gotta change!
This should just be common sense but it sounds like this is going on a lot!

Can you tape some cleaning procedures or guidelines to the wall where the carts are kept? Maybe she'll get the hint that what she is doing is gross.

This is why with my staff break rooms, bathrooms, vacuuming, etc are separate tasks. You clean all the bathrooms first then stock them, then do the break rooms, then other tasks like vacuuming so you're essentially not cross contaminating each task.

That person was never trained right, who ever hired her should be informed. Some companies think anyone can clean, but most people don't know how to do it properly. You can go to any fast food place, most of the time the person who cleans the restroom is also making your food. I went to a Chinese restaurant the other day for lunch, the person cashier was also touching food, no gloves and no wash in between.

Yeah nasty stuff. We used to do cleaning at B&N which had a Starbucks. Watched employees walk out of the stall after taking a dump and walk right past the sink to the door and back to making coffee. People are really sick.
 

Always Sparkling

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I've round about mentioned it a few times, but it's been hard because she is older than me and has worked at this facility in the past. I think I need to just come out and say it point blank in the nicest way possible :) I don't want to hurt her feelings because she is a good person but I can't let it go on for much longer and keep my sanity :yuck:
 

LookNGood

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I've round about mentioned it a few times, but it's been hard because she is older than me and has worked at this facility in the past. I think I need to just come out and say it point blank in the nicest way possible :) I don't want to hurt her feelings because she is a good person but I can't let it go on for much longer and keep my sanity :yuck:

Unfortunately her view is "I've been doing it this way for so long and nothing has happened"

Which makes you wrong in her eyes unfortunately

But you still need to try. Realize you don't have to do it yourself if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

Are there ever times when cleaning where several other people are around? In other words if you went to the supervisor and had them address it would she know 100% that you said something?
 

Always Sparkling

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Yeah she would definitely know. We are the only 2 full time janitors at the moment. So when we clean together it's just us. We each have certain areas that are just ours and just a few other areas that we share.
 

LookNGood

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Yeah she would definitely know. We are the only 2 full time janitors at the moment. So when we clean together it's just us. We each have certain areas that are just ours and just a few other areas that we share.

Are there any occupants though?

You said it's an office, the supervisor could say one of the office employees noticed you walking out of the bathrooms with gloves on and then it appeared you went to clean the kitchen with those same gloves still on.

If there are usually a bunch of employees there no fingers could/would be pointed as far as someone "telling on her" (for lack of a better term)
 

Mama Fen

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I know it's an uncomfortable situation, but let's look at the gestalt here.

One person's lack of training, versus the potential health hazard to every person who uses those areas.

It doesn't matter if her feelings get hurt or she gets angry. If she genuinely cares about doing the job, she will welcome the education and do better. If she doesn't, then she's just there for a paycheck and it's not your problem. Either way, she is putting people at risk and it needs to stop.
 

LookNGood

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I know it's an uncomfortable situation, but let's look at the gestalt here.

One person's lack of training, versus the potential health hazard to every person who uses those areas.

It doesn't matter if her feelings get hurt or she gets angry. If she genuinely cares about doing the job, she will welcome the education and do better. If she doesn't, then she's just there for a paycheck and it's not your problem. Either way, she is putting people at risk and it needs to stop.

I'm someone who prefers to avoid as much confrontation as possible. You never know when you are dealing with a "sleeper." By that I mean someone who seems like a normal person but they are ready to snap and go on a rampage if that one trigger event happens.

I agree it needs to be addressed but as a human being the OP also has the right to self preservation in every sense of the word. They don't need to be placed in this persons crosshairs.

It always matters if someone's feelings are hurt or they get angry because we have no idea what they will do in response.
 

Mama Fen

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I agree to a point that we must always be mindful of the feelings of others, but honestly, if it comes to the feelings of one versus the health and safety of all, I think a discussion has to be had. Not necessarily a confrontation.

There's no reason it has to get ugly - standards are standards. If the standard is that you wear a work uniform, and you show up in flip flops and a wife-beater, then it's to be expected that there will be a discussion.

It's also not the OP's responsibility to have that discussion with his co-worker. If anything, I'm suggesting he go to the person responsible for the hiring and oversight of this cleaning crew and take his concerns to them. He says he works in a public office/facility - this situation needs to be brought to their attention, for them to handle it. Not the OP. He wasn't hired as this woman's boss, from what I gather - so it's not his responsibility to take her to task. But I do think for the safety of all involved, it's important he bring it to the attention of those whose responsibility it is. For all the woman in question knows, it could have been a customer complaint. OP's name doesn't have to come into it.
 

OldCarpetVet

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Yeah she would definitely know. We are the only 2 full time janitors at the moment. So when we clean together it's just us. We each have certain areas that are just ours and just a few other areas that we share.


I just noticed your screen name...."Always Sparkling". I would name your co-worked...Always Contaminated.