Cleaning and Restoration Companies and OSHA


The Occupational, Safety and Health Administration has guidelines that Cleaning and Restoration Companies are expected to follow.

These guidelines are for the safety and health of workers as well as building occupants.

In Texas, OSHA has, not only, an enforcement division but an education division, as well. I would think this is standard, throughout the country. We invited the education division to our rug cleaning shop. The gentleman stayed for several hours and went over everything we needed to know.


Cleaning and restoration companies are expected to have a Written Respiratory Program in place, outlining training, to be done, for equipment, chemicals, safety etc. Sources for the outline for this program can be found on-line.


Some Key Items


1. It’s recommended that regular training be held on safety issues. Nothing fancy. It could be a standup meeting 2 minutes long about something employees should know. When the information has been given, it’s recommended that each person in attendance sign a form stating the date and what was covered. This signed form should go into each employee’s file, which was in attendance.



NOTE: If an employee is injured and OSHA gets involved, they will ask if training was done on this subject. It will be good for your company to be able to say “yes” and show them proof of attendance!  



2. The  3rd prong, ground wire, is not be removed from a plug. If the plug is missing the third prong or the wire is frayed or damaged, in any way, the item with the damaged chord should be removed from service until repaired or replaced. There can be a substantial fine for each chord that is missing the third prong.

3. MSD Sheets are to be kept, next to the drivers seat, within reaching distance, if asked for. These sheets have critical health and safety information about the chemical product it covers. There is to be one for each product on the truck as well as a binder with MSDS near the phones, in the office.

4. Fire extinguishers are another required item. They should be located in the office and warehouse and on service trucks. Anyone using a fire extinguisher must have received training on using it.

5. Exit signs are required, enabling occupants easy escape in an emergency.

6. Flammable material is to be stored in a fireproof shelf unit.

7. For those in the Flood or Mold Business respirators are a must. Anyone using a respirator must have looked into the health risks possibly involved by the stress a respirator can put on a persons heart and lungs while wearing it. There are on-line tests that can sometimes be used which could indicate it’s advisable to visit a Doctor before wearing a respirator.

Also, training should be done on donning and doffing (put it on and take it off) as well as the respirator fit.


These are not every requirement. Ignorance of requirements does not let you off the hook if something happens.


                 Dennis Klager


Copyright 2012 by Dennis Klager