Every single day healthcare workers are risking their health in order to save lives. We often forget about the other unsung heroes risking their lives every time they show up to do their job; essential workers. Essential workers risk their health to get a paycheck and provide us with the ability to feel safe, eat, get essential items, etc.
A particularly vulnerable population of essential workers is the cleaner industry. This includes housekeepers, cleaning services, janitors, and anyone who’s job involves providing cleaning and restoration services. The demand cleaner industry has skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with sales growing by 195% within the first couple of months (prnewswire.com). This spike in demand has left workers scrambling to meet the needs of this growing market. In the coming months, this trend will likely continue and as cleaners adjust to the growing demand, a “cleaning boom” will ensue. This is positive for the cleaner industry as it is one of the few industries being beneficially affected by the pandemic. However, while the economic benefits of a cleaning boom are positive, it is important to remember the obvious negatives involved with such a large demand for cleaning services. The negative being cleaners put at high risk of being exposed to the virus. In general, the cleaner industry has done an excellent job taking the needed precautions in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, that does not mean they are completely immune from being affected by the virus, and this increased exposure to illness.
With the rise of science and medicine, public health professionals forgot about the socioeconomic determinants of health. Cleaning roles are mostly filled by members of minority communities, which have higher rates of pre-existing conditions, and are therefore more susceptible to contracting and dying from COVID-19. Most cleaners are underpaid and uninsured with minimal job security despite cleaning being an essential, hazardous, and low paying job that requires skill. These workers deserve greater training, hazard pay, job assurance, and economic security, which will result in a change in societal views and safer stores, restaurants, and gyms.
History shows us that cleaners during pandemics are seen as public health experts trained with a specific skill. Cleaning specialists have always been essential and now more than ever society is recognizing that. BioPrep Solutions is here to help you ensure cleaning is at the forefront of your business, your employees are trained to follow guidelines and know they are valued, and customers know they are safe.
Next time you are in contact with a member industry, consider giving them a kind nod of appreciation or thank them as they are risking their health every day for the safety of others.