Spring Cleaning from an OSHA Perspective
We’re saying Happy Spring with a free copy of the April issue of the OSHA Bulletin.
Here is the featured article from this month’s issue…
Many of us do a massive “spring cleaning” at home, but do we also clean our work environment? Now is a good time to do just that, not only removing dust and clutter but also discarding outdated items and purging old documentation.
OSHA does not cover medications unless they are harmful to employees. However, if you would not want an outdated item used on your newborn or your grandmother, discard it. Outdated disinfectants may not kill those germs, putting staff members at risk for infections.
Start by creating a list of each room or work area (exam rooms, hygiene bays, procedure rooms, operatories, sterilization area, storage rooms, utility rooms, server room, restrooms, break room/kitchen), so that you can track which ones have been cleaned. List makers love checking off completed tasks! There is even a log on page 5 to get you started.
Then, go through each work area just as you would at home. Remove any unwanted, unneeded, or expired items before moving to the next area. Perhaps you can use a cart with a trash can and a recycling bin to help sort and remove items.
Recycle paper, plastic, aluminum cans, and glass. Recycle only empty containers, not those with any contents (food, beverage, medication) remaining in them. Some states even offer refunds or rewards for recycling certain items.
Shred paper that has protected health information.
Expired chemicals, including drugs, should be discarded according to the package insert, which often is missing or illegible, and even when it is available, it is often less than helpful. Check online resources. Contact your local law enforcement agency for information about special days or locations for safe disposal of medications.
Records must be retained depending on the applicable governing agency.