Q7. Are employees such as housekeepers, maintenance workers and janitors covered by the standard?

Elizabeth Graham Leave a Comment

A7. Housekeeping workers in healthcare facilities may have occupational exposure, as defined by the standard. Individuals who perform housekeeping duties, particularly in-patient care and laboratory areas, may perform tasks, such as cleaning blood spills and handling regulated wastes, which cause occupational exposure.

While OSHA does not generally consider all maintenance personnel and janitorial staff employed in non-healthcare facilities to have occupational exposure, it is the employer’s responsibility to determine which job classifications or specific tasks and procedures involve occupational exposure. For example, OSHA expects products such as discarded sanitary napkins to be discarded into waste containers which are lined in such a way as to prevent contact with the contents. At the same time, the employer must determine if employees can come into contact with blood during the normal handling of such products from initial pick-up through disposal in the outgoing trash. If OSHA determines, on a case-by-case basis, that sufficient evidence of reasonably anticipated exposure exists, the employer will be held responsible for providing the protections of 29 CFR 1910.1030 to the employees with occupational exposure.

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