Employee Safety Training

Custodial Department

Custodial Department
Safe Work Practices

These Safe Work Practices are provided for your information and education. They are intended to provide you with basic safety and health information that will assist you in avoiding injury while performing your daily activities.

These Safe Work Practices are part of Section Two, Training and Education, of the Injury & Illness Prevention Program of Cabrillo Community College District, and are required by Section 3203 of Title 8, the mandatory safety legislation of Cal/OSHA. You are obliged to follow these Safe Work Practices while performing your work activities.


  1. General Safe Work Practices-- Required for all Cabrillo employees
  2. Department Specific Safe Work Practices: The Custodial Department-- Required for all Custodial Department employees
  3. Bloodborne Pathogens: Category II-- Required for all Custodial Department: Custodial Supervisor, Custodial Specialist, Custodian I/II, and Lead Custodian

NOTE: Bloodborne Pathogen training is required to be completed EVERY year. 

Additional Safe Work Practices exist for employees of the Custodial Department as listed above. Items 1 and 2 are found in the Cabrillo IIPP. Item 3, Bloodborne Pathogen training is a separate program and can be found in a separate Binder or on Cabrillo's safety website.

You are encouraged to contribute ideas to expand or improve these Safe Work Practices.

1. Do not attempt to lift heavy or bulky objects that could cause strain to the back or other body parts. Use lifting aids or seek the assistance of fellow workers. To lift manageable size and weight boxes, use the following:

First squat down and use the legs and arms instead of the back to lift the box. Once you are in a squat position, lift the box with your arms and place it on your thighs for balance; if necessary, place your knee on the ground for balance. Make sure you have a good grasp on the box, and slowly rise, remembering to keep your back straight. Never bend over at the waist and lift with your back. Never twist torso while lifting or carrying items.

2. It is the professional responsibility of everyone who lifts or moves heavy materials to practice safe lifting methods. The basic method to avoid back injuries is to bend your knees when you lift

3.Use eye protection when using strong chemicals for cleaning/clearing drain problems and other uses. One splash of this material into an eye could cause permanent damage.

4. Avoid storing cardboard, paper products, and other combustible materials in equipment rooms containing devices with open flame heating elements such as water heaters, boilers, and furnaces.

5. Exercise extreme care when cleaning and removing trash from science rooms and areas where broken glass could exist. People are not always cautious about discarding dangerous materials such as broken glass, needles, and other devices that could cause injuries.

6. Always identify wet floors or spills with caution signs to avoid injury to yourself, fellow workers, and the public. Wipe up spill immediately, if possible.

7. Always inspect power tools for safe power cords. This is especially important for tools that use water, such as wet vacuums, floor strippers, or carpet cleaners. Any break in a cord should be reported to the supervisor immediately. Equipment should not be used until cord is repaired.

8. Never permanently secure the power switch of a buffer or similar piece of equipment; it could cause damage to property and possibly injury to you or others.

9. Do not operate a buffer close to a power cord. The cord can get wound up in the equipment and cause damage to the equipment and possible injury to you.

10. Never use flammable solvents such as gasoline or similar materials to remove stains or spots from tile or other surfaces. The vapors can be explosive and dangerous.

11. All employees should read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that are available for all hazardous materials used in custodial operations.

12. Chemicals have been provided for specific tasks. Specific guidelines should be followed when handling, using, and dispensing chemicals:

A) Never mix chemicals, other than to dilute them with water or following the manufacturer's instructions.

B) Wear appropriate safety equipment (goggles, gloves, boots, etc.).

C) Check the MSDSs for details for the chemical's properties, hazards, and first aid procedures.

D) If you are not familiar with a specific chemical or are not comfortable with its appropriateness to the process at hand, contact your supervisor for instructions.

13. Ladders (either wood or fiberglass) are provided for cleaning light fixtures or high surfaces. Never stand on the upper two rungs of the ladder. Never stand on furniture to reach elevated surfaces.

14. Be careful when cleaning near electrical devices such as light switches. If you notice covers are missing on light switches or electrical outlets, contact your supervisor for repairs.

15. All Custodians should wear appropriate safety clothing and safety equipment.

  • Approved rubber gloves should be worn when handling chemicals, during restroom sanitation, and when removing garbage.
  • Rain gear is provided for inclement weather.
  • Since work is often at night, carry a flashlight.
  • Rubber boots are to be used when using the floor scrubber.

16.Use mechanical means, such as a hoe or broom, to push garbage down. Never use a hand, foot, or other body part.

17. Hygiene is important, especially after restroom sanitation. Hands should be washed frequently.

18. Certain job activities require the use of a respirator. The District's Respiratory Protection Program will be used to train and fit test those employees that will be given respirators.

19. Only certified drivers can use the forklift. Follow safety guidelines set forth in the District's Industrial Truck Program. The driver should check forklifts each day prior to operation. If found unsafe, report the problems to the division dean immediately for repair. No riders are permitted on these vehicles.

20. When working in the shooting range, the Safe Work Practices specifically designed for the shooting range cleaning and maintenance must be followed.

Earplugs or earmuffs should be used when operating any equipment if the noise level makes it difficult to converse at a distance of 3 feet or less. Earplugs or earmuffs must be worn when using a gasoline-powered blower.