Housekeeping laws & safety compliance analysis

Housekeeping: What you need to know


Federal safety and health rules require all employers to provide a safe and healthful workplace. There are walking-working surfaces and sanitation requirements that apply to all permanent places of employment, except where domestic, mining, or agricultural work is performed. The exceptions are covered under separate standards for those types of workplaces.

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Employers must provide clean water, toilet and hand-washing facilities, changing rooms for employees who are required to wear protective clothing to safeguard against contamination or toxic materials, and other industry-specific rules related to good housekeeping.

There are requirements concerning clean and sanitary work environments to prevent employee contact with blood, bodily fluids, or other potentially infectious materials. See the Bloodborne Pathogens analysis for information.

Surface Conditions and Sanitation Requirements
Surface conditions
29 CFR 1910.22

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) walking-working surfaces standard for general industry workplaces regulates most areas where employees may work or travel in the workplace. Walking-working surfaces include ladders, wall and floor openings, ramps, stairways, and scaffolds. Much of the standard is geared to design, construction, and installation specifications for the prevention of worker injury from falls.

Additional surface condition requirements include:

  • All workplaces, passageways, storerooms, service rooms, and walking-working surfaces are kept in a clean, orderly, and sanitary condition.
  • Workroom floors are maintained in a clean and, where practicable, dry condition. When wet presses are used, drainage must be maintained and dry standing places, such as ...

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