From the beginning of the pandemic through October 2020, OSHA has levied $1.6 million in fines to 112 businesses for violating workplace safety obligations.
More than ever, business owners and property managers need to understand the impact of these updated cleaning regulations to avoid costly penalties. At over $14,000 per establishment, these fines are no small matter.
We’ve created a shortlist of cleaning regulations about businesses in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. While not exhaustive, it will help you take steps to prevent possible OSHA penalties and fines.
Business Owners & Property Managers Need to Know these 4 Cleaning Regulations
Many companies have added disinfection to their service offering, but not all of them meet OSHA standards. Working with a reliable specialist will help you avoid violating workplace safety laws, resulting in paying expensive penalties.
That’s where Sentral Services comes in. We follow CDC and WHO-approved and recommended guidelines, ensuring that your facility meets the latest requirements.
Here are the standards to keep your facility safe and prevent expensive fees.
1. OSHA Standards Applied to Situations Caused by COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA has changed its regulations regarding employee safety. Cleaning companies are responsible for implementing the latest regulations. Since there are no federal guidelines, OSHA has stepped in to create workplace guidelines for virus safety and sanitization.
One of these changes is that employers are now mandated to report injury, illness, and fatalities to OSHA. If an employee gets sick, you have to report it to OSHA. Failure to do so can result in thousands of dollars in fees: Out of 294 citations, OSHA has issued almost $4,000,000 in fines.
2. OSHA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection — March 2021
To remain compliant, facilities need a regular sanitation schedule to ensure the facility is as clean and sanitary as possible. Facilities need to make sanitizing wipes available for employees to wipe down doorknobs before use. They should also have surfaces cleaned with soap and water before sanitization.
This means cleaning service needs to be completed before sanitization. Many companies confuse the two processes and offer one of these services while you think you're receiving both.
Spaces where an infected employee recently worked need to be closed off to the public. It's also best to open up the windows to increase airflow.
Failure to comply with OSHA guidelines for cleaning and disinfection can result in employees, customers, and tenants contracting the COVID-19 virus due to negligence. While there is no OSHA-specific penalty for failing to clean and sanitize post-infection, it can become a liability for your business.
Also, a sanitization response needs to occur if an employee or tenant is diagnosed with COVID-19.
3. CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfection — January 2021
The CDC recommends having a sanitation plan in place should somebody contract COVID-19 in your workspace. This includes cleaning surfaces with soap and water and disinfecting according to product guidelines.
It's critical to implement the plan quickly to minimize virus spread and facility down-time. The CDC recommends using EPA-friendly chemicals. Consider hiring a company with the required chemicals to sanitize and disinfect every surface type instead of purchasing them individually.
While no federal charges exist for failing to clean and sanitize, it can be detrimental to your business if your employees and tenants get sick. Healthy employees who know you value their health tend to stick around longer.
4. Virginia Standard 16VAC25-220-10
The Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 is a standard set by the state of Virginia that ensures employers must take active steps to keep employees safe from COVID-19.
The rule sets mandates not just for mask-wearing and social distancing but for enforcement cleaning as well.
This means that it’s a state mandate in Virginia to have your workplace cleaned for your workers. Not doing so puts you at risk of a state infraction and additional fines on top of OSHA penalties.
Partner with Commercial Cleaning Service that Follows Cleaning Regulations
A safe workplace for your employees and tenants is paramount to your success as a business owner. If you can avoid the penalties that could come from inefficient cleaning or disinfection, you’ll not only prevent a headache, you’ll have more profit to invest back into the business.
To do it right, you need to ensure you’re hiring a cleaning company that knows the laws and regulations that apply to you. We at Sentral Services base our processes entirely on CDC and WHO regulations and guidance, giving you peace of mind that you are always in compliance with local and national regulations.
We aren’t new to the world of disinfection, either. We have extensive experience in cleaning processes based on national, state, and local regulations, so you can rest easy knowing your property is in good hands.
Our company follows our proven CARE system to ensure you receive the best possible service from our team of professionals. We communicate, assure, replicate and elevate across every step of the cleaning process.
Want to try out a sanitization service that’s proven to get the job done? Reach out to us today for your free custom cleaning proposal so we can help ensure you keep more for your bottom line and less in penalty fees.