Cleaning Standards for Medical Clinics and Dental Offices

OSHAWhile all offices should keep up to date on OSHA rules for the health and safety of the employees who work there, it is especially vital for medical and dental offices to adhere to OSHA standards. An inspection can happen anytime, so medical and dental offices must be prepared. Here are just a few of the standards that medical and dental offices must adhere to in order to avoid steep fines. Read on for more information about cleaning standards for medical clinics and dental offices.

Bloodborne Pathogens Standard

In order to comply with OSHA standards, offices must have universal precautions for everything used to draw blood. There must be a color-coded waste disposal system and it must be clearly posted so it can be referenced if need be. Equipment like needles, gloves, or vials, all must be disposed of in designated areas. There are also cleaning standards for what can be used to clean spills, and how the cleaning supplies are to be disposed of.

A written exposure control plan should be in place in case of exposure. This should include:

  • List of employees whose job might put them at risk of exposure.
  • Procedures on how to avoid contact with bloodborne pathogens.
  • Follow-up procedures to ensure medical exams are given to anyone exposed.
  • Report sent to OSHA about the exposure.

Hazard Communication

Communication about hazardous materials is key to the safety of all employees and patients in a medical office. Signs should be prominently placed to ensure everyone in an area is aware hazardous materials are present.

Hazardous materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Hazardous Waste
  • Disinfectant
  • Anesthetic
  • Mercury
  • Sterilant
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Radiological

Proper disposal and cleanup of areas with hazardous materials are key. Any employee who may have to handle hazardous materials while doing their job must be trained on the handling of hazardous materials.

Finally, a plan must be in writing about how training will be given to those employees. The health and safety of all who come through your office are safeguarded when these standards are met. It is also necessary to note that not just the handling of these hazardous materials are regulated, but the storage and management of them are also regulated by OSHA.

Ionizing Radiation

Signs must be placed in every room which contains x-ray equipment, and must specifically read “Caution X-Ray Radiation”. These signs must also be placed on the doors to the rooms where the equipment is held. Any room with x-ray equipment must be a restricted area. Only employees who have to go into these areas to perform their jobs should be allowed in. These employees need to have monitors on their persons to make sure they are not exposed to more than the necessary amount of radiation. Also, an important part of keeping these machine running safely, and good patient care, involves proper disinfectant.

Exit Routes

As in all businesses, safe and accessible exit routes are posted throughout the office to ensure the ability of staff and patients to be able to exit in case of emergency. These routes must be kept clear of all equipment of hazardous materials in order to allow patients and staff to leave the building quickly and safely. Doors must not be blocked at any time, and hallways must be kept clear of debris. Even the waiting room must be kept clean and orderly in order to maintain proper exit procedures in case of emergency.


OSHA Pub. 3073 defines a hazardous area as areas where flammable liquids, gases, or vapors, or combustible dust exist in sufficient quantities to produce an explosion or fire. Careful attention to detail must be observed when cleaning in these kinds of areas. If your office has any of these, be sure to consult your local fire department, your insurance company, and OSHA when installing electrical equipment and wiring in areas where these substances are kept.

As you can see, there are so many different factors to consider, so how do you prepare? There’s a newsletter put out by OSHA to assist offices in keeping up to date, and you can also download standards from OSHA’s website. Of course, it’s important that your staff be fully aware of and trained in all OSHA guidelines. But did you know that you should expect nothing less from your commercial cleaning service?

When you hire a company to come in and attend to your office’s cleaning needs, seek a knowledgeable and trained cleaning company, such as ServiceMaster Commercial Cleaning, to provide a safe and healthy workplace for your employees and patients. Finding a cleaning company that’s not just familiar with all OSHA rules and regulations, but prepared to implement them, will ensure that your office is always ready for an OSHA inspection. Failure to comply with OSHA guidelines for your office could lead not only to the injury of a patient or employee but costly fines from the government. Contact us today to learn how we can help your office be a safer, more prepared workplace.