Ask the Expert—End-of-the-day exam room cleaning

By: February 2nd, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: I’m concerned that housekeeping staff are not cleaning and replacing the paper on exam room tables at the end of every day. What regulation can I point to make sure this is done?

A: Your exposure control plan (ECP) requires a written cleaning schedule that determines the method of disinfection/decontamination based upon the “location within the facility, type of surface to be cleaned, type of soil present, and tasks or procedures being performed in the area,” according to OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard in section 1910.1030(d)(4)(i).

Make sure that the written schedule includes the details for end-of-day exam room cleaning, and remind managers and staff that failure to adhere to the ECP could be an OSHA violation.

A sample cleaning and disinfection schedule from the OSHA Regulatory Manual for Healthcare is available for downloading from the Tools page.

Got any other tips for cleaning and disinfection compliance? Post them in the comments section below.


I agree. I think that this may cover what you want.
Protective coverings, such as plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or imperviously-backed absorbent paper used to cover equipment and environmental surfaces, shall be removed and replaced as soon as feasible when they become overtly contaminated or at the end of the workshift if they may have become contaminated during the shift.

It appears to me that quoting a regulation is now what needs to happen. You need to have a conversation about expectations and priorities with your EVS management team and explain what you want. If they are unable to do it make the needed change to get what you need to have done completed.
If they aren’t doing it, you need to tell the management team as soon as you notice it, not days later. This is the only way to get the sustainable changes you need.

By David LaHoda on February 4th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I agree, John, simply quoting a regulation rarely proactively solves a safety compliance problem. In fact, if the existence of a written regulation becomes the be all and end all to safety compliance, it could impede instituting a best practices approach that goes above and beyond regulations.


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