Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Safe Drinking Cups
We provide our employees with drinks (water, tea, soda, etc)and would like to allow them to drink at their workbenches. However we would like to insure that we are OSHA compliant in doing this. Is there a OSHA approved cup or container that we could provide them with? We are located in Fl and hydration is very important here in the summer months. Our building is air conditioned but we still like to provide this benefit. We are looking to insure that no contaminates can enter the cup. Are we ok with a sealed cup with a open and close mechanism along the lines of a travel mug or is there a better option?
Sylvia, great question! There are only a few area where OSHA regulates eating and drinking at work stations. For instance, 29 CFR 1910.1026(i)(5) prohibits the aforementioned activity. The Bloodborne Pathogen standard also contains verbage regarding drinks at the work-site. For the most part, OSHA doesn't direct what areas of a general industry location can have drinks at the work stations, unless it's specifically addressed by a standard like the one I outlined. From a common sense standpoint, a closed top container should be used to prevent work place contaminants from entering into their drinks. The travel mug you mentioned would be perfect for most areas of a manufacturing process. Moreover, where they place their drinks is also important to control in a work place. I have seen in many manufacturing environments where drink cups are place on top of electrical control panels. I don't need to explain why this is a hazard for obvious reasons. I hope this answered your question, you seem to have a good grasp of what is needed in a work environment. If you have further questions or need any additional information, do not hesitate to contact me. Thanks