Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/break room standards

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We are a small medical clinic with 14 employees.  we have a break room with a refrigerator and microwave.  We usually bring our lunches, which are kept in the frige.  My capped soda was removed and placed on the counter top.  I was told it was OSHA regulations.  I understand the importance of not leaving open cups and bottles but CAPPED bottles?  Is there regulations concerning open containers and drinks in the employee break area.  People are always leaving drinks and cups on the counter tops, not to mention in the frige.

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Subject: break room standards

Question: We are a small medical clinic with 14 employees.  we have a break room with a refrigerator and microwave.  We usually bring our lunches, which are kept in the frige.  My capped soda was removed and placed on the counter top.  I was told it was OSHA regulations.  I understand the importance of not leaving open cups and bottles but CAPPED bottles?  Is there regulations concerning open containers and drinks in the employee break area.  People are always leaving drinks and cups on the counter tops, not to mention in the frige.

Answer: Peggy to the best of my knowledge the few regulations in OSHA that relate to break rooms do not address the issue of how food stuffs are to be stored. As a matter of good practice I would encourage all food and/or drinks to be kept in sealable containers or well wrapped. I cannot find or think of any reasonable justification for you  not being able to keep a clean capped bottle in the refrigerator. Are you sure someone is not joking or irritated. If I be of any further assistance in the matter please feel free to ask.

Michael Brown, CSP Retired
(By the way, if someone at your work can furnish a specific code reference for OSHA regarding capped bottles in the fridge, I would be very interested if you would advise.)

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Mike Brown CSP Retired

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I specialize in the professional management of occupational safety and health as well as workers` compensation to reduce losses and improve production and address related issues through a comprehensive approach by senior management using proven principals.I worked for over twenty (20) years in the management of occupational safety, health and workers` compensation and safety training (Retired from employment in 1996 due to a stroke, which prevented the extensive travel required).

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