The institutional and industrial cleaning industry provides essential products and services that are used to clean and maintain a healthy indoor environment for commercial establishments of all sizes and types, including schools, hospitals, day care centers, food service operations, office complexes, and other similar establishments. The industry includes manufacturers and distributors of cleaning products in addition to in-house and contracted service providers.
As in many industries, employees in the cleaning industry face a number of hazards. Cleaning industry employees may be exposed to potentially hazardous chemicals, may be asked to work with equipment that can present a danger and may be asked to perform various tasks that may cause an injury or illness if not performed properly. Further, the physical environment in which cleaning services are performed can present hazards.
OSHA standards and guidelines play a key role in eliminating or minimizing these hazards and are crucial to ensuring a safe and healthy work environment.
For additional resources to help employers comply with and workers understand OSHA requirements, read OSHA's Employers page.
Cleaning Industry hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry.
Hazards and Solutions
Provides references that may be used to assist cleaning industry employers and employees in recognizing potential hazards in the workplace and provide examples of possible solutions.
OSHA's COVID-19 Safety and Health Topics page provides specific information about protecting workers from coronavirus during the ongoing outbreak.
- Protect Yourself: Cleaning Chemicals and Your Health Poster. OSHA Publication 3511, (2012).
- Protecting Workers Who Use Cleaning Chemicals. OSHA Publication 3512, (2012).
- Cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces in health care: Toward an integrated framework for infection and occupational illness prevention. American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), (2015). An integrated framework was developed to guide more comprehensive efforts to minimize harmful cleaning and disinfecting exposures without reducing the effectiveness of infection prevention.
Spanish Language Resources
- Spanish-Language Compliance Assistance Resources. OSHA. The page, intended primarily for English-speaking and bilingual users, provides links to OSHA's compliance assistance resources for Hispanic employers and employees.
- Asthma and Cleaning Products at Work. Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Surveillance Program.