The shocking incident where a woman was served a cleaning chemical in a Sprite Zero bottle is behind calls for the Department of Labour to step up enforcement action on the labelling and use of chemicals in the $1b commercial cleaning industry says New Zealand’s Crest Clean.
“That this incident serves to demonstrate the urgent need for the Department of Labour to introduce higher standards and labelling instructions on chemicals used in the commercial cleaning industry,” says Grant McLauchlan, Managing Director of Crest Clean.
“It’s all too common throughout the industry to see chemicals being used in unmarked plastic bottles, with no warnings or instructions on the proper use or storage. This needs to change.”
Currently the commercial cleaning industry in New Zealand is largely unregulated with no requirement for training to be undertaken by people employed as commercial cleaners. The Department of Labour is responsible for enforcing health and safety and preventing or managing the adverse effects of hazardous substances.
“Crest strongly believes that better standards of training are urgently needed as this incident at the Avondale RSA proves,” said Mr McLauchlan who added “sadly it was only a matter of time before something like this occurred.”
“While the Police may like to advise that this can be “used as training”, the reality is that the Department of Labour should have a set minimum standard of training requirement in place and require cleaners to at least undertake a NZQA course in Cleaning and Caretaking.”
“Unless the standards and qualifications of cleaners improves, the likelihood remains that we will see another innocent member of the public’s health put at risk because of poor labelling and weak enforcement by a Government agency,” Mr McLauchlan said.