Dirty Showers

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about dirty showers:

I work for a plant that has no janitor and the shower house is never cleaned. There is mold growing on the walls and floors. The employees have nowhere else to shower or use the restroom. Where can I report this to get some help with this problem?

Signed, Feel Dirty

DearĀ Feel Dirty:

If you owned an apartment and your renters complained that there was mold in the shower, what would you do? You’d scrub it down with bleach and make sure the vent-fan was working. Also then, if you were wise, you’d stipulate that $100 of their deposit would not be refunded if from that day on the renter allowed the shower to become moldy again. Believe me after that, they take care not allow the shower to steam up the bathroom and would keep it clean.Your employer is the owner of your plant and has the responsibility to keep the showers clean. You mention restrooms in your question. Does this mean that no one cleans the toilets too? You need to get several of you who don’t like to shower in a moldy bathroom (and possibly don’t like dirty toilets) to make a formal written request to have the showers cleaned daily. Possibly send photos of it—mold and poorly painted walls, and any other safety-health related problems. In your letter, ask for a reply as to when it will be repaired and regularly cleaned.

A second approach might be for you and several co-workers to offer to do an off-time clean up-paint up of the showers, provided that then your company would have it cleaned daily. Probably three of you could do a great job in five hours. You are right to want a clean place to shower. So don’t hesitate to state that firmly to your boss and to whomever else in management is charged with cleaning and maintenance. Then if they do not get it done, you can say that you think that your state’s Department of Labor would not look favorably on mold in showers. Just saying that, probably will get action. I assume that your company doesn’t have a union and therefore you employees will have to speak for your selves. Whatever you do, don’t see yourself as complaining trouble-makers, but as responsible hard-working employees who want to do all you can to make your plant successful and great place in which to work. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. And your question reminds us that should also mean clean showers.

William Gorden