All places of employment require regular cleaning. A clean workplace and good housekeeping are an important component of maintaining a safe work environment. It is best to clean work areas when other employees are not present. Employers may use their employees or contracted employees/services to perform custodial work. These employees perform duties such as taking out the trash, cleaning restrooms, disinfecting work stations, cleaning break rooms, etc.

It is important to protect your custodial and environmental service workers from potential exposure to COVID-19. Employers need to conduct a hazard assessment to determine what hazards may be present in the workplace. The employer should evaluate the risk of exposure then choose, implement, and ensure custodial workers use controls to prevent exposure.

  • Evaluate the Exposure Risk Level
    • Low-Risk
      • Routine cleaning in low-volume offices, manufacturing, and industrial facilities.
      • Routine cleaning in spaces not occupied by members of the general public.
    • Medium-Risk
      • Routine cleaning in offices, manufacturing facilities, industrial facilities, and other spaces frequented by staff/employees.
      • Routine cleaning in spaces occupied/frequented by members of the general public.
    • High-Risk
      • Cleaning up visible blood, body fluids, respiratory secretions, or mucous that came from individuals suspected of having or known to have COVID-19.
      • Cleaning up any other potentially infectious materials that came from individuals suspected of having or known to have COVID-19.
  • Choose and Implement Engineering and Administrative Controls/Safe Work Practices
    • Ensure the area being cleaned is well ventilated.
    • Wait 24 hours before cleaning the contaminated area if possible.
    • Restrict access to the area.
    • Post DO NOT ENTER signs.
    • Avoid cleaning procedures that could re-aerosolize infectious particles.
      • Dry sweeping
      • High-pressure cleaning
    • Avoid touching the face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
    • Practice thorough hand washing after completion of the cleaning/disinfecting work or removing PPE.
    • Provide and encourage the use of hand sanitizers (60% alcohol base).
  • Provide and Require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Gloves (all risk levels)
    • Masks (covering both the mouth and nose, snug fit) (all risk levels)
    • Gowns (high-risk levels)
    • Eye/face protection (high-risk levels)
  • Educate Custodial and Environmental Service Workers
    • To recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.
    • On what to do if they develop symptoms.
    • How to use, put on, take off, and when to use PPE.
    • On the hazards of the cleaning chemicals.
    • On Bloodborne Pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030).
    • On proper disposal of regulated waste & PPE (29 CFR 1910.132).

KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.