Housekeeping

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Housekeeping is a significant problem at construction sites. Poor housekeeping creates hazards that can cause injuries or other health and safety incidents. To prevent these incidents, the workplace must maintain cleanliness and order on a regular basis and throughout each workday. Housekeeping must be seen as part what makes the workplace clean and safe. It becomes easier to overlook other hazards if garbage, clutter and spills are accepted on the worksite.

Employers, contractors or owners shall:

Sanitation

  • Keep their workplace sanitary and clean as much as is reasonably practical.
  • Ensure removing dirt and debris using a suitable method at least once a day from all floors, working surfaces, stairways and passages.
  • Ensure floors are cleaned at least once each week. Methods must be effective and suitable to the situation e.g. Occupied Office building- vacuum floors, framing stage in the construction of a house- sweep floors with a broom.
  • Ensure all inside walls, partitions, ceilings, passages and staircases are clean and are suitably finished and maintained.
  • Ensure the removing of refuse, spills or waste that may pose a risk to the worker's health or safety, from the worksite as soon as is practicable.

Ventilation systems

  • Construct and maintain in the mechanical ventilation systems to minimize the growth and dissemination of micro-organisms, insects and mites.
  • Construct the mechanical ventilation systems, where reasonably practicable, so they are accessible for cleaning and inspection.
  • Have a competent person inspect and maintain all parts of their mechanical ventilation system. This includes cleaning all louvres and replacing or adequately cleaning all filters as often as is necessary to protect the health and safety of the workers.
  • Keep all openings in the ventilation system free of any blockages or sources that could cause contamination.
  • Make sure the competent person working on a mechanical ventilation system keeps a record of all inspections, maintenance and cleanings. These records must be readily available for examination by the Occupational Health Committee, the Health and Safety representative or any worker if there is no committee or representative.

Space

  • Not allow the workplace to be overcrowded to a degree that may cause risk of injury to workers.
  • Make sure the worksite has at least 10 cubic metres of space for each worker employed at any one time at that worksite. Spaces that are more than three metres from the floor or occupied by solid objects cannot be included in the calculation.

Lighting

  • Keep, light fixtures, windows and skylights that provide light for work clean and free from any obstruction, where practicable. Special treatments of light fixtures, windows or skylights to reduce heat or glare are exempted this requirement.

Toilet facilities

  • Clean and maintain toilet and personal washing facilities that are provided to workers. All toilet facilities must be suitable and readily accessible to workers. Washrooms and other personal washing areas must be kept clean.
  • Keep toilet facilities free of obstacles or materials that block workers or prevent their use.
  • Keep toilet facilities free of vermin.
  • Supply toilet facilities with toilet tissue at all times and easily cleanable, covered garbage containers.

Personal washing

  • Provide and maintain suitable facilities for personal washing that are located near each toilet.
  • Supply areas for personal washing with soap, water and clean towels or another way to clean and dry off e.g. electric hand dryer.
  • Provide and maintain easily cleanable, a covered receptacle for waste materials.
  • Keep the personal washing areas adequately heated, ventilated and lighted.
  • Keep the areas clean and neat.

Change and shower facilities

  • Provide showers and change rooms if workers are likely to get harmful or offensive substances on their skin as regular part of the work at the worksite.
  • Keep any provided changing rooms and showers clean and clear so they can serve their purpose.
  • Allow workers enough time to use the provided change rooms or showers during normal working hours and without a loss of pay or benefits.

Eating areas

  • Provide enough areas where workers may eat and drink during their work breaks. Keep them clean dry, thermally comfortable and reasonably quiet.
  • Where the substances used in the work or the work processes are dusty, dirty or likely to contaminate a worker’s clothing or food, provide an eating area separate from the worksite and close to washing facilities.

Drinking water

  • Provide an adequate supply of clean and safe drinking water that is readily accessible to all workers.
  • Provide drinking water in covered containers, protect the drinking water from contamination and refresh the supply as often as is necessary to make sure the water is clean and safe to drink if the worksite does not have piped in potable water.
  • Supply disposable cups near each supply of drinking water unless drinking water is supplied in an upward jet such as from water fountains.
  • Where necessary mark the drinking water with a sign that says "Drinking Water" or in another visual way.
  • Clearly mark non-potable water with a permanently fixed, durable sign that says "Unfit for Drinking" or in another visual way.

Standing

  • Maintain reasonable drainage where wet processes are used at work. Also maintain and keep clean any dry standing places such as false floors, platforms or mats.

Exposure Control Plan

  • Put in place an exposure control plan to eliminate or minimize any contact workers are likely to have with infectious material or organisms. This plan may include providing dedicated disposal containers for sharp objects and needles.
  • Provide readily accessible containers for waste needles, syringes, blades, clinical glass and any other clinical items that could cut or puncture and make sure workers and self-employed persons use those containers.

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996
S.S., c. O-1.1, Reg 1

Part VI General Health Requirements

Section 64 Sanitation

64. (1) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that a place of employment is sanitary and kept as clean as is reasonably practicable and shall ensure, to the extent that is reasonably practicable, that:

(a) dirt and debris are removed at least daily by a suitable method from all floors, working surfaces, stairways and passages;

(b) floors are cleaned at least once each week by washing, vacuum cleaning or any other effective and suitable method; and

(c) all inside walls, partitions, ceilings, passages and staircases are clean and are suitably finished and maintained.

(2) Where a worker may be exposed to refuse, spills or waste materials that may pose a risk to the worker's health or safety, an employer or contractor shall ensure that the refuse, spill or waste material is removed by a suitable method from the worksite as soon as is practicable.

Section 67 Cleaning and maintaining ventilation systems

67. (1) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that:

(a) the mechanical ventilation system, including any humidification equipment, is constructed and maintained to minimize the growth and dissemination of micro-organisms, insects and mites through the ventilation system; and

(b) where reasonably practicable, the components of a mechanical ventilation system are readily accessible for cleaning and inspection.

(2) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that a competent person inspects and maintains all parts of a mechanical ventilation system, cleans all louvres and replaces or adequately cleans all filters at a frequency that is sufficient to protect the health and safety of the workers.

(3) An employer, contractor or owner shall keep all ventilation openings free of any obstruction or source of contamination.

(4) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that a record of all inspections, maintenance and cleaning of a mechanical ventilation system required by subsection 66(1):

(a) is made by the competent person who performs the work; and

(b) is readily available for examination by the committee, the representative or, where there is no committee or representative, the workers.

Section 68 Space

68. (1) An employer or contractor shall ensure that no part of a place of employment is overcrowded to a degree that may cause risk of injury to workers.

(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), an employer or contractor shall ensure that there is at least 10 cubic metres of space for each worker employed at any one time at a worksite.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), no space that is more than three metres from the floor and no space occupied by solid objects is to be taken into account.

Section 69 Lighting

69. (1) While workers are present at a worksite, an employer, contractor or owner shall provide lighting that is sufficient to protect the health and safety of workers and suitable for the work to be done at the worksite.

(2) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that the illumination of all parts of a place of employment where workers pass, other than underground at a mine, is at least five decalux.

(3) Where failure of the regular lighting system is likely to create conditions dangerous to the health or safety of workers, an employer, contractor or owner shall provide appropriate emergency lighting of at least five decalux for the worksite and exit routes from the worksite.

(4) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that:

(a) light fixtures, windows and skylights that provide light for work are, where practicable, kept clean and free from any obstruction, except for special treatment of light fixtures, windows or skylights to reduce heat or glare; and

(b) artificial light sources and reflective surfaces are positioned, screened or provided with a shade, where practicable, to prevent glare or the formation of shadows that cause discomfort or a risk of accident to a worker.

Section 71 Toilet facilities

71. (1) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that suitable and readily accessible toilet facilities for workers:

(a) are provided at a place of employment, maintained and kept clean;

(b) are sufficient in number for the number of workers at the place of employment at any one time; and

(c) have adequate provision for privacy, heat, light and ventilation.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (6), on and after July 1, 1997, the minimum number of toilet facilities required pursuant to subsection (1) is set out in Table 13 of the Appendix.

(3) Where toilet facilities are likely to be used by persons other than workers, an employer, contractor or owner shall provide additional toilets in a number that is proportionate to the number set out in Table 13 of the Appendix and, where use by those other persons is substantial and frequent, the employer, contractor or owner shall provide separate toilet facilities for those other persons.

(4) Where there are more than 10 workers and both male and female persons are employed at any time, an employer, contractor or owner shall provide separate toilet facilities for workers of each sex in numbers that are proportionate to the numbers of male and female persons employed.

(5) Where each toilet compartment is completely enclosed from floor to ceiling and has a door that can be locked from the inside, an employer, contractor or owner is deemed to have met the requirements of subsection (4).

(6) Where more than 100 male persons work or are likely to work on any shift and sufficient urinal accommodations are provided, the minimum number of toilet facilities set out in Table 13 of the Appendix may be reduced with the permission of an officer.

(7) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that each toilet facility required by this section:

(a) is used exclusively for the purposes for which the facility is designed;

(b) is free from any obstacle or obstruction that could prevent the facility from being used;

(c) is kept free of vermin;

(d) is supplied with toilet tissue at all times and with easily cleanable, covered receptacles for waste materials; and

(e) except in the case of a urinal, is equipped with an individual compartment and a door that can be locked from the inside.

Section 72 Personal washing

72. An employer, contractor or owner shall provide and maintain for the use of workers suitable facilities for personal washing that:

(a) are located near each toilet at a place of employment;

(b) have a supply of clean hot and cold water or warm water, soap and clean towels or other suitable means of cleaning and drying;

(c) have an easily cleanable, covered receptacle for waste materials;

(d) are adequately heated, ventilated and lighted; and

(e) are kept in a clean and neat condition.

Section 74 Change and shower facilities

74. Where a worker's skin is likely to be contaminated by harmful or offensive substances as part of the regular work processes at a place of employment, an employer, contractor or owner shall:

(a) where reasonably practicable, provide and maintain suitable, adequate and clean change and shower facilities; and

(b) allow sufficient time, during normal working hours without loss of pay or other benefits, for the worker to use the facilities.

Section 75 Eating areas

75. (1) An employer, contractor or owner shall provide sufficient, suitable areas that are kept clean, dry, thermally comfortable and reasonably quiet for workers to eat and drink during work breaks.

(2) At places of employment where the substances used in the work or the work processes are dusty, dirty or otherwise likely to contaminate a worker's person, clothing or food, the employer, contractor or owner shall provide an eating area that is separate from the worksite and close to washing facilities.

Section 76 Drinking water

76. (1) An employer, contractor or owner shall provide, at suitable points that are readily accessible to all workers, an adequate supply of clean and safe drinking water.

(2) Where the supply of drinking water at a place of employment is not piped, an employer, contractor or owner shall:

(a) provide drinking water in suitable covered containers;

(b) protect the drinking water from contamination; and

(c) change the drinking water as often as is necessary to ensure that the water is clean and safe to drink.

(3) Except where drinking water is supplied in an upward jet, an employer, contractor or owner shall provide an adequate supply of disposable cups near each supply of drinking water.

(4) Where it is necessary to identify the supply of drinking water, an employer, contractor or owner shall clearly indicate the supply of drinking water with a sign that says "Drinking Water" or by another visual means.

(5) Where there is a supply of water at a place of employment that is unfit for drinking, an employer, contractor or owner shall clearly indicate the supply of water with a permanently fixed, durable sign that says "Unfit for Drinking" or by another visual means.

Section 79 Standing

79. (1) Where workers are required to stand for long periods in the course of their work, an employer or contractor shall provide adequate anti-fatigue mats, footrests or other suitable devices to give relief to workers.

(2) Where wet processes are used, an employer or contractor shall ensure that reasonable drainage is maintained and that false floors, platforms, mats or other dry standing places are provided, maintained and kept clean.

Section 85 Exposure control plan

85. (1) In this section:

(a) "engineering controls" means physical controls or barriers that isolate or remove an infectious disease hazard and includes:

(i) medical devices approved by Health Canada that have engineered sharps injury protections;

(ii) sharps disposal containers;

(iii) needleless systems and needles with engineered sharps injury protections as defined in section 474.1; and

(iv) other devices that isolate or remove sharps hazards;

(b) "expose" means harmful contact with an infectious material or organism from inhalation, ingestion, skin or mucous membrane contact or percutaneous injury;

(c) "exposure control plan" means an exposure control plan required pursuant to subsection (2);

(d) "infectious material or organism" means an infectious material or organism that has been identified in an approved manner as an infectious disease hazard that poses a significantly increased exposure risk to a worker or self-employed person.

(2) If workers are required to handle, use or produce an infectious material or organism or are likely to be exposed at a place of employment, an employer, in consultation with the committee, shall develop and implement an exposure control plan to eliminate or minimize worker exposure.

(3) An exposure control plan must:

(a) be in writing;

(b) identify any workers at the place of employment who may be exposed;

(c) identify categories of tasks and procedures that may put workers at risk of exposure;

(d) describe the ways in which an infectious material or organism can enter the body of a worker and the risks associated with that entry;

(e) describe the signs and symptoms of any disease that may arise for a worker exposed at the place of employment;

(f) describe infection control measures to be used, such as the following:

(i) vaccination;

(ii) engineering controls;

(iii) personal protective equipment;

(iv) safe work practices and procedures; and

(v) standard practices that incorporate universal precautions;

(g) identify the limitations of the infection control measures described pursuant to clause (f);

(h) set out procedures to be followed in each of the following circumstances:

(i) if there has been a spill or leak of an infectious material or organism;

(ii) if a worker has been exposed;

(iii) if a worker believes that he or she has been exposed;

(i) set out the methods of cleaning, disinfecting or disposing of clothing, personal protective equipment or other equipment contaminated with an infectious material or organism that must be followed and indicate who is responsible for carrying out those activities;

(j) describe the training to be provided to workers who may be exposed and the means by which this training will be provided;

(k) require the investigation and documentation, in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the exposed worker, of any work-related exposure incident, including the route of exposure and the circumstances in which the exposure occurred; and

(l) require the investigation of any occurrence of an occupationally transmitted infection or infectious disease to identify the route of exposure and implement measures to prevent further infection.

(4) If subsection 85(2) applies to an employer on the day on which this section comes into force or at any time before January 1, 2006, that employer must, no later than January 1, 2006, describe in his or her exposure control plan the steps that will be taken by July 1, 2006 to ensure compliance with this section and, if applicable, subsection 474.1(3).

(5) No employer shall allow a worker to undertake any tasks or procedures mentioned in clause (3)(c) unless the worker has been trained with respect to the exposure control plan and the use of control measures appropriate for the task or procedure undertaken.

(6) An employer, in consultation with the committee, shall review the adequacy of the exposure control plan, and amend the plan if necessary, at least every two years or as necessary to reflect advances in infection control measures, including engineering controls.

(7) An employer shall make a copy of the exposure control plan and any amendments to that plan readily available to every worker who may be exposed. (8) An employer shall:

(a) inform workers who are required to handle, use or produce an infectious material or organism or who may be exposed at a place of employment:

(i) of any vaccine recommended for workers with respect to that risk in the Canadian Immunization Guide, published by Health Canada, and recommended by:

(A) a medical health officer appointed pursuant to The Public Health Act or a designated public health officer within the meaning of The Public Health Act, 1994 whose powers and responsibilities include those set out in Part IV of The Public Health Act, 1994; or

(B) a physician with expertise in immunization or the control of communicable diseases; and

(ii) of the risks associated with taking a vaccine mentioned in subclause (i);

(b) with the worker's consent, arrange for the worker to receive any vaccination recommended pursuant to subclause (a)(i) during the worker's normal working hours and reimburse the worker for any costs associated with receiving the vaccination; and

(c) if a worker cannot receive a vaccination mentioned in subclause (a)(i) during the worker's normal working hours, credit the worker's attendance for the vaccination as time at work and ensure that the worker does not lose any pay or other benefits.

(9) If a worker has been exposed to blood or potentially infectious bodily fluids at a place of employment, an employer shall, with the consent of the worker, during the worker's normal working hours, arrange for immediate medical evaluation and intervention by a qualified person in an approved manner and for confidential post-exposure counselling.

(10) If a worker cannot receive medical evaluation, medical intervention or post-exposure counselling during the worker's normal working hours, an employer shall credit the worker's attendance for evaluation, intervention or counselling as time at work and shall ensure that the worker does not lose any pay or other benefits.

(11) Nothing in these regulations prohibits an employer or contractor from purchasing supplies in bulk together with another employer or contractor but each employer or contractor is responsible for ensuring his or her compliance with these regulations.

[Sask. Reg. 6/97, s. 5; 112/2005, s. 4]