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Housekeeping and the NFPA

Housekeeping and the NFPA

Housekeeping and the NFPA


While the NFPA 99 2018 chapter 14 and the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) Accreditation probes HBOM 4.12 and 4.12.1 mandates the training, practical experience has proven that structured, recurrent and documented training for the housekeeping team is time well spent.

The responsibility of ongoing training and ensuring competency for clinicians and the housekeeping team can be challenging. Staff turnover, vacations, busy clinic schedules and the lack of desire to have "another meeting" are common obstacles. None of which, however, are acceptable excuses to avoid the performance of competency training.  As we have seen on a blog article, Quality of Care Requires Ongoing Competency Evaluations, regularly scheduled training should be documented for all environmental service personnel, including the housekeeping team, and maintained in a Safety Training notebook in the hyperbaric facility. 

The NFPA 99 2018 addition gives us further guidance regarding the required training for the housekeeping personnel. According to the NFPA 99, [1] :

The persons assigned to the task of housekeeping shall be trained in the following:

  • Potential damage to the equipment from cleaning procedures
  • Potential personal injury
  • Specific cleaning procedures
  • Equipment NOT to be cleaned
  • Housekeeping personnel and the HBO Safety Director will complete the Environmental Service Training Form upon completion of training and conduct annual training. 


Besides meeting housekeeping requirements to prevent workplace hazards established by OSHA, hyperbaric facilities must comply with the 2012 NFPA 99 requirements. 

The NFPA 99 Chapter 14 - states that "A housekeeping program shall be implemented whether or not the facility is in regular use." [1] A. provides some clarity to "It is absolutely essential that all areas of, and components associated with, the hyperbaric chamber be kept meticulously free of grease, lint, dirt, and dust."


According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace hazards in a healthcare facility include exposure of employee or housekeeping staff to:

  • Blood or other potentially infectious materials
  • Contaminated equipment or laundry
  • Contaminated sharps and containers
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Wet floors, and possible slips, trips, and falls

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NOTE: This is a controlled document. This document is not a substitute for proper training, experience, and exercising of professional judgment. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents, neither the authors nor the Wound Reference, Inc. give any guarantee as to the accuracy of the information contained in them nor accept any liability, with respect to loss, damage, injury or expense arising from any such errors or omissions in the contents of the work.


  1. National Fire Protection Association. "Hyperbaric Facilities" Chapter 14, NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities, 2018 Edition. . 2018;.
Topic 1163 Version 1.0


INTRODUCTIONOverviewThe review of NFPA 99 Chapter 14 is intended to provide insight as to how it relates to daily hyperbaric operations, as this chapter applies to all hyperbaric facilities regardless of occupancy (Class A, Class B or Class C). Regulatory/accrediting agencies (FDA/ UHMS) and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) reference NFPA 99 chapter to set hyperbaric operational criteria). The 2012 edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) H