Washington State Janitorial Workload Study

About the Study

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The Washington State Janitorial Workload study is a new four-year research project in the Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program, to identify risk factors that put janitors in Washington State at high risk for work-related injuries. This study includes a multi-disciplinary team of researchers.

The SHARP program was tasked by the Washington State Legislature to identify workload issues that may be amenable to change, which can reduce the risk of injury. Our goal is to find out from janitor, labor, and business safety leaders what issues, tools, and tasks are the most hazardous, and recommend ways to reduce these risks.

There are many steps to this study:

  • Focus groups to hear from janitors around the state
  • One-on-one interviews with janitors
  • Advisory Committee of business and labor safety leaders
  • Statewide surveys of janitors
  • Statewide surveys of janitorial employers
  • Detailed worksite observations of janitors

Previous research from SHARP regarding janitors

First step: Focus Groups

What is a focus group?

A focus group is a meeting, where participants are gathered together to discuss issues with a facilitator or leader(s) who guides the conversation with questions. As people share their stories, more topics/questions may come up and they may lead to other discussions. Usually, multiple researchers are present to help with note taking and to keep the meeting running smoothly.

What are these focus groups about?

We would like to hear from you about your jobs as janitors. We will be holding focus groups in the greater Seattle/Tacoma areas, as well as Spokane and elsewhere, where we can bring janitors together, ask questions, and listen to your experiences. Using the information you share can help us identify problems and create tools that we hope will make your work safer & healthier.

Are there any risk or benefits to participating in a focus group?

Your information will remain confidential to protect your identity. We understand that you might feel uncomfortable talking in a group. However, participants often feel a sense of community while sharing their stories with other people who understand their experiences. We will also serve light refreshments and each participant will receive a $25 gift card for their time.

What will you do with my information?

We will use the survey information you provide to call you and give you more details about the focus groups. Giving us your information does not guarantee you will be selected to participate, but we will try to speak with everyone who is interested. We will not share your contact information with anyone. Once the focus groups are completed, we will delete all identifying information, like your name and phone number.

What happens after I fill out the survey with my information?

You may be contacted shortly after you submit the survey so we can provide further information that will help you decide whether you would like to participate. If you have more questions before or after completing the survey, please call us at 1-888-667-4277.

How much time will this take?

You will meet one time with a focus group of 8-10 people at a date, time, and location that works best for you. The session will take about 60 to 90 minutes of your time.

How can I find out more and sign up?

Click on the link below and fill out the short survey if you are interested in participating in a focus group.  

If you have questions before or after completing the survey or want to learn more, please call us at 1-888-667-4277 and press two for the Janitors Study.

For more information:


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