Restaurant Worker Safety

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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.

Outreach Posters

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Worker Safety Fact Sheets

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For Employers

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Image of industrial kitchen

For more information or to request additional copies of posters and fact sheets, please contact:
Lucia Graham, PhD, REHS
Phone: 916-445-4190

Michel Oriel
Phone: (916) 324-8845