Skip Navigation

Housekeeping

Housekeeping worker

What is Housekeeping?

"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. _____ is one of the four types of regulated waste that requires special handling.

a. Water with a concentration of bleach that is 5% or greater
b. Liquid or semi-liquid blood or potentially infectious materials
c. Nutritional supplements used by patients
d. Food wrappers or cups that have been used by persons with an infectious disease

Next Section

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 should be _____.

a. placed in any available garbage can
b. thrown out with all of the other garbage
c. exposed to infrared light prior to containing
d. placed in containers constructed to contain the contents

Next Section

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. What technique should you use when picking up contaminated glassware?

a. Use mechanical means such as forceps, or tongs
b. Use rubber gloves
c. Spray glass with disinfectant before picking it up
d. Poor acid on the glass and then use gloves

Next Section

Storing Contaminated Items

Biohazardous Waste Container

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

Work practice controls should be established 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. All equipment and work surfaces that could become contaminated should _____.

a. be wiped down with a clean cloth
b. be cleaned and decontaminated routinely
c. never be used in laboratories
d. be made with smooth surfaces

Next Section

Scenario

Kevin is a custodian 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.

5. All of the following actions should be taken when handling contaminated materials EXCEPT _____.

a. adequate containment
b. proper labeling
c. external storage
d. appropriate disposal

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.

Video

Blood or Body Fluid Spill Management

OSHAcademy Ultimate Guide Banner Ad