What is housekeeping?
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
- Liquid or semi-liquid blood or potentially infectious
- Contaminated items that could release potentially
infectious material in a liquid or semi-liquid state
- Items caked (solid or dry) with potentially infectious
materials that are capable of releasing these materials during
- Contaminated sharp objects
Potentially Biohazardous Waste
It is of the utmost importance that infectious waste be safely
- 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.
It's important to use a properly labeled container for contaminated laundry.
"Contaminated laundry" refers to laundry that is soiled with
potential infectious material or that may contain sharp objects, such as
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.
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.
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.