February 24, 2010 | | Comments 0
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Judge the need to lock up cleaning products with common sense

Regarding my prior post about MSDS exemptions for consumer products, someone asked me whether there are any requirements for cleaning products to be locked up when not in use.

Once again, the risk assessment rears its fiery plumage!

There is little specific guidance in this regard because there so many variables that it becomes a most daunting task to promulgate any really useful “one-size-fits-all” recommendations.

Ultimately, the safest approach to managing household cleaning products is the same way you would manage your housekeeping department’s regular complement of products. There are certainly varying risks depending on patient populations, settings, even visitors.

Products ought to be kept out of the reach of children. You can do that without locking products up, although locking them up may prove to be the simplest solution. Likewise, behavioral health patients represent a different level of risk and locking up products might be the most effective measure possible.

As with so many things, there are very few “have to” measures when it comes to this stuff, and it also represents an opportunity for common sense to prevail. I’m a big fan of common sense and a big opponent of draconian standards that remove the opportunity to use common sense, although the development of the latter may well be the result of that sense being not quite as common as it used to be.


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Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

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