Under-Sink Storage - Risk Assessment

What is the requirement for under-sink storage?

The Joint Commission standards do not specifically address under-sink storage criteria, so a risk assessment is to be performed to determine the organization's accepted practices, with a resulting policy established and disseminated to staff for implementation. The survey process will access the policy for effectiveness and verify through tracer activity that the policy is being followed. The conclusion of a risk assessment would generally need to establish if anything stored under a sink could be damaged by a sink plumbing leak or the moist environment, then under-sink storage of those items would be prohibited. Examples may be clean/sterile supplies (not necessarily cleaning supplies), reagent and chemicals that could have an adverse reaction if exposed to water/sewer/moisture, cleaned patient care equipment, etc. Trash bins located under sinks would typically not be an issue. The organization should also determine if their local health department or state licensing/health organization has any prohibitions.
Last updated on February 15, 2018
Manual: Hospital and Hospital Clinics
Chapter: Environment of Care EC

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