Custodial leads Javier Hernandez and Peter Montoya have always taken pride in working at the Lab, and never more than now when their essential contributions are emphasized.
Although the Lab reduced on-site staffing beginning March 19 to comply with California’s shelter-in-place order, Montoya and Hernandez still commute to the Lab’s main site, like they always have since they joined the Lab’s Facilities Division more than 20 years ago.
As members of the custodial staff, they perform essential work needed to ensure Lab spaces are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every day so that the other 150 essential employees working on site have access to clean bathrooms and offices.
They are also part of the Lab’s deep-cleaning crew – a volunteer force of specially trained custodial leads. They suit up with extra-protective face shields and goggles, booties, and double-gloves while running disinfecting equipment to pressure-wash the floors, sinks, faucets, and toilets in restrooms as well as shower walls, floors, and ceilings; and wipe down walls, knobs, and fixtures – “anything anyone would touch,” Montoya said.
Such deep cleaning is carried out when needed in addition to their custodial crews’ daily cleaning.
“We want to make sure that when everyone comes back to work on the Lab site, their offices and restrooms will be extra clean,” Montoya said.
As part of the evening crew, Hernandez’s and Montoya’s workdays start at 2 p.m. and end at 10: 30 in the evening.
For Hernandez, who commutes to the Lab from Richmond with his wife, Blanca Hernandez, who also works as a custodian at the Lab, being part of the deep-cleaning crew is a way for him to continue doing the best that he can to help while other Lab staff is sheltering in place.
“I try to do a good job every day. I’m proud of working here,” Hernandez said. “Every day I come to work happy, ready to start one more day,”