Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Contaminated Laundry OSHA Standard

Contaminated Laundry

Contaminated Laundry, as outlined in the Blood-borne Pathogen Standard definitions, as: laundry which has been soiled with blood or other potentially infectious material or may contain sharps.

Potential Hazard 

Exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials through contaminated laundry that was improperly labeled, or handled.

Possible Solutions 

Follow the procedures outlined in the Blood-borne Pathogens Standard handling contaminated laundry such as:
  • Handle contaminated laundry as little as possible with minimal agitation.
  • Bag contaminated laundry at the location of use. Do not sort or rinse laundry at the location where it was used.
  • Place wet contaminated laundry in leak-proof, and color-coded or labeled containers, at the location where it was used.


Whenever contaminated laundry is wet and presents a reasonable likelihood of soak-through of or leakage from the bag or container, the laundry shall be placed and transported in bags or containers which prevent soak-through and/or leakage of fluids to the exterior.

Contaminated laundry must be placed and transported in bags or containers labeled with the bio-hazard symbol or put in red bags.

In a facility that utilizes universal precautions in the handling of all soiled laundry-alternative labeling or color-coding is sufficient if it permits all employees to recognize the containers as requiring compliance with universal precautions.

Use red bags or bags marked with the bio-hazard symbol, if the facility where items are laundered does not use universal precautions for all laundry.

Contaminated laundry bags should not be held close to the body or squeezed when transporting to avoid punctures from improperly discarded syringes.

Normal laundry cycles should be used according to the washer and detergent manufacturer's recommendations.