Soiled Linen Containers

Q: We have a long-term care facility and want to know if we can place soiled linen containers in dining rooms and activity rooms?

A: From a Life Safety Code point-of-view, as long as the capacity of the individual containers does not exceed 32 gallons and there is no more than an aggregate total capacity of soiled linen containers of 32 gallons in a 64-square foot area, then yes this would be permitted. This means each individual container cannot be more than 32-gallons capacity, or the container has to be stored in a hazardous room. Also, the accumulated capacity of soiled linen containers cannot exceed 32-gallons in a 64-square foot area. So, if the soiled linen contain capacity is 20-gallons, then that would be permitted to be stored outside of a hazardous area; but two 20-gallon capacity soiled linen containers stored side-by-side would not be permitted because that would exceed the 32-gallons accumulated capacity in a 64-square foot area.

But check with your Infection Control practitioner to see if there are any IC regulations that would prohibit soiled linen containers from being stored in a dining room or activity room.

Brad Keyes
Brad Keyes, CHSP

Brad is a former advisor to Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and former Joint Commission LS surveyor. He guides clients through  organizational assessment; management training; ongoing coaching of task groups; and extensive one-on-one coaching of facility leaders. He analyzes and develops leadership effectiveness and efficiency in work processes, focusing on assessing an organization’s preparedness for a survey, evaluating processes in achieving preparedness, and guiding organizations toward compliance. 

As a presenter at national seminars, regional conferences, and audio conferences, Brad teaches the Keyes Life Safety Boot Camp series to various groups and organizations. He is the author or co-author of many HCPro books, including the best-selling  Analyzing the Hospital Life Safety Survey, now in its 3rd edition. Brad has also authored a variety of articles in numerous publications addressing features of life safety and fire protection, as well as white papers and articles on the Building Maintenance Program. Currently serving as the contributing editor of the monthly HCPro newsletter Healthcare Life Safety Compliance  gives Brad further insight into the industry’s trends and best practices.