Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier


What is housekeeping?

Housekeeping worker
It is important to keep the workplace clean to help prevent injuries.

"Housekeeping" refers to ensuring a worksite is maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.

An employer must implement an appropriate written schedule for cleaning and determine the best method to decontaminate each location within a facility.

There are four types of regulated waste that require special handling:

  1. Liquid or semi-liquid blood or potentially infectious materials
  2. Contaminated items that could release potentially infectious material in a liquid or semi-liquid state
  3. Items caked (solid or dry) with potentially infectious materials that are capable of releasing these materials during handling
  4. Contaminated sharp objects
Biohazardous Waste
Potentially infectious material must be properly labeled and stored.

Potentially Biohazardous Waste

It is of the utmost importance that infectious waste be safely contained.

  • Infectious waste should be placed in specially designed containers constructed to contain the contents.
  • The containers need to be leak-proof, labeled or color coded, and closed prior to removal to prevent spills.
  • If a container is leaking, place it in a secondary leak-proof container.
Biohazardous Waste Container For Laundry
It's important to use a properly labeled container for contaminated laundry.

Contaminated Laundry

"Contaminated laundry" refers to laundry that is soiled with potential infectious material or that may contain sharp objects, such as needles.

When working with contaminated laundry, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Contaminated laundry should be handled as little as possible.
  • Wear gloves when handling contaminated laundry, and place it in labeled, leak-proof bags or containers before transporting it.
  • Never take contaminated protective clothing home for laundering, even if it is personal clothing.
  • Pick up potentially contaminated broken glassware using mechanical means only, such as tongs, forceps, or brush and dustpan.
  • Never use your hands, even if you are wearing gloves.
Housekeeping - Cleaning
It's important to wear the proper PPE when performing housekeeping tasks when there is a potential for exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

Contaminated items should not be stored or processed in a way that requires you to reach into containers.

Work practice controls should be established to prevent you from reaching into a container to remove potentially contaminated items, such as glassware or needles.

All equipment and work surfaces that could become contaminated should be cleaned and decontaminated routinely using an appropriate disinfectant while wearing PPE.

All pails, bins, and similar reusable receptacles should be decontaminated on a regular basis and as soon as possible after visible contamination is noticed.


Kevin is a custodial engineer for a local middle school. As part of his job duties, he is required to clean the health room daily. It is common for students to have minor injuries or ailments, such as nose bleeds or a skinned knee, during the school day.

What housekeeping issues does Kevin face?

Housekeeping issues Kevin might face

It's important all contaminated materials, such as bloody gauze, is contained, labeled, and disposed of properly.

Kevin should wear PPE, such as gloves, when performing this task. Kevin should decontaminate the health room surfaces daily using an approved method and appropriate disinfectant. If visible blood or body fluids are present on a surface, the fluid should be cleaned, and the surface decontaminated immediately.


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. Is it acceptable for an employee to take contaminated clothing home to be washed?

2. One of the four types of regulated waste that requires special handling is _______.

3. In regard to bloodborne pathogens and contaminated materials, what is "housekeeping"?

4. Infectious waste should be _______.

5. Pick up potentially contaminated broken glassware using _______.

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.