Housekeeping

What is housekeeping?

Housekeeping worker
It is important to keep the workplace clean to help prevent injuries.

"Housekeeping" refers to ensuring a worksite is maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

An employer must implement an appropriate written schedule for cleaning and determine the best method to decontaminate each location within a facility.

There are four types of regulated waste that require special handling:

  1. Liquid or semi-liquid blood or potentially infectious materials
  2. Contaminated items that could release potentially infectious material in a liquid or semi-liquid state
  3. Items caked (solid or dry) with potentially infectious materials that are capable of releasing these materials during handling
  4. Contaminated sharp objects

1. Each of the following is a type of regulated waste EXCEPT _____.

a. Liquid/semi-liquid blood or OPIM
b. Contaminated items that could release infection liquid/semi-liquids
c. Contaminated sharp objects
d. Cleaning liquids and equipment

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Biohazardous Waste

Potentially Biohazardous Waste

It is of the utmost importance that infectious waste be safely contained.

  • Infectious waste should be placed in specially designed containers constructed to contain the contents.
  • The containers need to be leak-proof, labeled or color coded, and closed prior to removal to prevent spills.
  • If a container is leaking, place it in a secondary leak-proof container.

2. Infectious waste containers need to be _______.

a. leak-proof, labeled or color-coded
b. disposed of in dumpsters in a timely manner
c. designed to reduce over-pressure buildup
d. labeled in both English and the native language

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Biohazardous Waste Container For Laundry
It's important to use a properly labeled container for contaminated laundry.

Contaminated Laundry

"Contaminated laundry" refers to laundry that is soiled with potential infectious material or that may contain sharp objects, such as needles.

When working with contaminated laundry, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Contaminated laundry should be handled as little as possible.
  • Wear gloves when handling contaminated laundry, and place it in labeled, leak-proof bags or containers before transporting it.
  • Never take contaminated protective clothing home for laundering, even if it is personal clothing.
  • Pick up potentially contaminated broken glassware using mechanical means only, such as tongs, forceps, or brush and dustpan.
  • Never use your hands, even if you are wearing gloves.

3. Which of the following is TRUE when picking up the contaminated glass?

a. Use the thumb/forefinger technique
b. Use mechanical means only
c. Use only leather gloves
d. Use hand to place the glass into a sack

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Housekeeping - Cleaning
It's important to wear the proper PPE when performing housekeeping tasks when there is a potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

Contaminated items should not be stored or processed in a way that requires you to reach into containers.

Engineering and work practice controls should be used to prevent you from reaching into a container to remove potentially contaminated items, such as glassware or needles.

All equipment and work surfaces that could become contaminated should be cleaned and decontaminated routinely using an appropriate disinfectant while wearing PPE.

All pails, bins, and similar reusable receptacles should be decontaminated on a regular basis and as soon as possible after visible contamination is noticed.

4. Which of the following strategies should be used to prevent employees from reaching into contaminated containers?

a. Common sense
b. Safety policies and rules
c. Administrative guidelines
d. Engineering and work practice controls

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.

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Scenario

Kevin is a custodial engineer for a local middle school. As part of his job duties, he is required to clean the health room daily. It is common for students to have minor injuries or ailments, such as nose bleeds or a skinned knee, during the school day.

What housekeeping issues does Kevin face?

Housekeeping issues Kevin might face

It's important all contaminated materials, such as bloody gauze, is contained, labeled, and disposed of properly.

Kevin should wear PPE, such as gloves, when performing this task. Kevin should decontaminate the health room surfaces daily using an approved method and appropriate disinfectant. If visible blood or body fluids are present on a surface, the fluid should be cleaned, and the surface decontaminated immediately.

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