Janitor

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Two janitors cleaning at the US Capitol building, 1914

A janitor (or cleaner) is someone who takes away garbage and cleans surfaces. Janitors often repair things,and maintain their equipment in good working order, as well as dusting, washing, waxing and polishing.

Heavy duty janitors often move furniture, large containers of recycled materials and waste, and other objects, and operate large buffers and other weighty equipment. "Light" duty janitors clean chalk boards, windows, shelves, desks, light fixtures, and ledges. Some duties, like using a vacuum cleaner, can be done by either "light" or "heavy" duty janitors. Janitors can clean offices, staircases, kitchens, washrooms, hallways, sidewalks, elevators, escalators, and other areas. Janitors can specialize by washing windows, or by cleaning carpets, hospitals, food processing plants, or construction sites. Janitors who discover seriously damaged surfaces and equipment on their sites can notify specialists, like plumbers and carpenters, about the need for professional repairs.

Cleaners are also alert for security problems, like vandalism, signs of theft (forced windows or doors, missing computers or stock), blocked fire escape routes, malfunctioning lights or fire alarms, or trespassers. When these occur, the cleaners promptly notify their sites' Security Officers and Site Supervisors. Janitors know how to keep themselves and their sites safe, by immediately removing hazards like broken class, spilled fluids, and waste from kitchens and washrooms, and by checking hand rails, floor mats, stairs, automated doors, escalators, elevators, intercoms, and plumbing.