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Does OSHA Require Hand Washing Stations at Jobsites?

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Does OSHA Require Hand Washing Stations at Jobsites?

All construction sites have rules and guidelines they need to follow to ensure the safety of everyone working in the area or visiting the site. It also helps lead to the success of the job. Learning, studying, informing, and implementing these laws must be at the top of every site manager’s list. If you’re not sure of something, ask. Here’s one question we can answer for you. Does OSHA require hand washing stations at job sites?

Short Answer

The short answer is yes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does require hand washing stations at job sites. Their guidelines state that employers must provide adequate washing facilities for employees who work with paints, coating, herbicides, or insecticides.

Any operations that deal with harmful chemicals need a location for workers to clean their skin properly. Contaminants might require other removal methods, but the first line of defense needs to be soap and water.

Handwashing Specifics

The wording that OSHA provides is specific, leaving no room for open interpretation. Some may think a water hose and a few rags constitute a handwashing station. Fortunately, OSHA was careful with their phrasing. “Adequate washing facilities” means it needs to remove all contaminants thoroughly.

A rag and water hose won’t do the trick. Furthermore, OSHA established this rule in 1987, requiring all employers of 11 or more hand laborers to have portable water, soap, and towels available to them at all times. A team that does hard labor must also contend with debris that could get into their eyes, nose, and mouth. The station must be spacious enough to make room for face cleaning.

Handwashing Benefits

Cross-contamination can happen anywhere, especially on a job site. Avoiding mishaps like this is crucial. A handwashing station allows your workers to wash up and remove all contaminants before taking a break to eat lunch or grab a quick snack.

The station also works well to stop the spread of germs throughout the site. Ensuring the comfort of your employees is undoubtedly a priority, but ensuring their safety comes first. Handwashing stations may seem minor, but they protect more than you’d expect.

Soap and water can eliminate and kill germs and remove other harmful contaminants. You already have a porta-potty on the site. You should rent a portable hand washing station as well to match it. Luckily, you can rent them both from us.

If you ever have questions about other OSHA requirements besides handwashing stations at job sites, be sure to visit our website. We’re happy to help.

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