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OSHA Water Requirements

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The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, is a government agency that helps make sure employees are safe in their work environment. OSHA has requirements regarding the water used by and in existence within the workplace. These requirements are in the best interest of the employees.

Floors Should be Clean and Dry

According to OSHA, workplace floors should be clean and free of water. If the type of job being done causes water to spill on the floor, proper drainage systems should be in place to avoid excessive accumulation.

Toilets Should be Clean and in Good Condition

Toilets used within a place of employment should be kept clean. Water should not be able to leak out of the toilet, and the toilet should flush properly to avoid an accumulation of waste. If toilets become plugged, waste should be removed, even if the toilet cannot be fixed immediately.

Clean Water Should be Available for Personal Use

Clean and sanitary water, also known as potable water, should be available to employees at all time for personal use. Water for personal use includes drinking water, water to wash hands, body and clothes, and water to wash food, cooking environments, cups, plates and utensils.

Water Coolers Should be Clean

Water coolers should be placed in areas where the water will not be put at risk of becoming contaminated. Water coolers should also have a tap and be able to be closed after use.

Open Containers for Drinking Not Allowed

Water meant for consumption should never be placed in an open container. Water containers to be used for drinking by employers should always have a cover.

Water Not Meant for Consumption or Cleaning Clearly Marked

Water that is to be used in case of a fire or for industrial purposes should be clearly marked. This water is not meant for consumption or cleaning purposes.

Hot and Cold Water Available to All Employees

Both hot and cold water should be made available to employees. Bathrooms in particular should have hot and cold water access.


Julie Ackendorf has been a writer since 2007. She has contributed health, legal and parenting articles for various online publications. Ackendorf graduated from SUNY Empire State College, earning a Bachelor of Science in community and human services with a minor in child and adolescent development.