Restaurant Worker Safety
Prevent Sanitizer Injuries!
Pesticide illness is a reportable condition in California, and the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has been collecting reports of pesticide-related illnesses and injuries since the1970s. Recently, DPR scientists in the Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program (PISP) performed an analysis of the illness data which revealed that
- Almost one quarter of the cases received occurred in food facilities (2005-2014).
- Over 90 percent of those cases involved the use of antimicrobials (sanitizers), a type of pesticide.
- Approximately 42 percent of the injuries were due to failure to wear the label-required personal protective equipment (PPE), which means that these injuries could have been prevented had the employee worn PPE (such as rubber gloves and eye protection).
In our mission to protect human health and the environment, DPR has worked for the past year to create outreach resources for food service workers on the safe use of sanitizers, in the hope of reducing pesticide exposures and illnesses. Many workers in food facilities are not aware that sanitizers are pesticides that may pose a risk to human health, and therefore require workers to wear PPE when using them. To bring awareness and potentially decrease the number of illnesses, DPR, working with input from county environmental health directors, has created fact sheets, posters, and a web page on the safe use of sanitizers.
- Always Wear Personal Protective Equipment!, JPG (12"x18", 2.4 mb)
- Prevent Sanitizer Injuries!, JPG (12"x18", 2.3 mb),
En Español (12"x18", 6.6 mb), In Chinese (12"x18", 7.1 mb), In Korean (12"x18", 6.4 mb), In Punjabi, Version 1 (12"x18", 6.8 mb), In Punjabi, Version 2 (12"x18", 5.3 mb), In Hmong, Version 1 (12"x18", 7 mb), In Hmong, Version 2 (12"x18", 5.7 mb)
- Always Wear Personal Protective Equipment!, JPG (8"x10", 1.2 mb),
En Español (8"x10", 1.3 mb), In Chinese (8"x10", 2.7 mb), In Korean (8"x10", 2.8 mb), In Punjabi (8"x10", 2.6 mb), In Hmong (8"x10", 2.8 mb)
Worker Safety Fact Sheets
- Using Disinfectants, Sanitizers, Medical Sterilants, and Other Antimicrobials in the Workplace, PDF (196 kb, Rev. 09/16), En Español (171 kb)
- Safety Rules for Pesticide Handlers in Non-Agricultural Settings, PDF (511 kb, Rev. 09/16), En Español (290 kb), Punjabi (292 kb)
- Sanitizer Safety Poster Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- To report a pesticide illness: California Poison Control System
- For more information on workplace safety: Department of Industrial Relations
- For more information on pesticide safety: Department of Pesticide Regulation Fact Sheet Directory
- Model Hazard Communication Program (HAZCOM) for Restaurants - Every California employer must establish, implement and maintain a written Hazard Communication Program and a copy must be maintained at each workplace or at a central worksite if the employer has non-fixed worksites.
- Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program (PISP), PDF
- Pesticide Safety in Food Facilities, PDF
- Additional Information on PISP
For more information or to request additional copies of posters and fact sheets, please contact:
Lucia Graham, PhD, REHS
Phone: (916) 324-8845