At a glance the OSHA regulatory standard 29 CFR 1910.22 states that all places of employment, passageways, storerooms, and service room shall be kept clean and sanitary. So this regulation will cover every square inch of your facility. Everything from your service department to your janitor closets and bathrooms. It also mentions that to help facilitate cleaning all protruding nails, splinters, holes, and loose boards need to be fixed beforehand.
Moving past the definition, the OSHA regulation specifically identifies toilet facilities, waste disposal, wet processes, water supply, change rooms, vermin control, and food supply. OSHA can use the Housekeeping regulation as a catch all for any unsanitary condition. It also applies to items that you can’t see like odors.
How Much Can it Cost if OSHA Inspectors Finds Housekeeping Issues?
- $1800 depending on situation (general duty clause)
- $2700 general housekeeping initial penalty
Top General Housekeeping Issues:
- Waste disposal
- Clean and Dry Floors
- Vermin control
- Water supply (potable and non-potable water)
- Toilet facilities
- Food handling, storage, preparation and consumption
This includes detached buildings, forgotten corners of storage areas, detail areas, and body shops.
Ask the right questions: Is the trash getting taken out daily? Are there enough trash cans? Are the trash cans conveniently located so that disposing of an item doesn’t require slowing down work?
What is an acceptable trash can? Carefully inspect any container that you would consider using for a waste receptacle. Consider the following:
- Waste receptacles cannot leak
- It should have a tight fitting cover unless it can be maintained in a sanitary condition without a cover
- Trash should be removed as often as possible to maintain a sanitary condition
Vermin Control, Toilet Facilities
It is hard to attract and keep top performing employees with dirty toilets and vermin in working environments. Working conditions like these tend to trigger OSHA calls, and customers tend to spread the word about dirty bathrooms more often than they would talk about clean showrooms. If these are issues at your facility, they need to be addressed and you should consider hiring a subcontractor to fix the problem immediately and follow up on a regular schedule.
Clean and Dry Floors
Even the floor in the detail area needs be maintained. A “Wet Process” involves a location where liquid is used as part of the working process, and workers should be provided mats and the area should have proper drainage.
What about weather conditions?
According to an OSHA interpretation of the standard, rain and snow are not considered part of a wet process, and general housekeeping rules apply to weather related slip hazards. As long as a hazard exists, employees and customers should be protected from the hazard, even if it is a slip hazard from rain or snow.
- Drinking water must be provided (at all times, especially in hot and dry weather conditions)
- Water fountains must be clean and sanitary
- If providing water bottles instead of drinking fountains is more feasible, it is technically acceptable.
- Potable water in bathrooms must be provided for hand washing
- Non-potable water must be clearly labeled
Food and Beverages
- No employee is allowed to consume or store food or beverages in any area exposed to a toxic material- this means the service area, paint room, and detail areas of the dealership.
- No eating or storage of food in the bathroom
- Any trash can used for disposal of food must be emptied daily.
Whose responsibility is it?
- Ultimately, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a clean and safe work environment.