OSHA Drinking Water Requirements: Are You Providing Safe Drinking Water?

If you own or operate a business in the United States, you are responsible for providing your employees with a safe and healthy working environment. This includes supplying clean drinking water to keep them hydrated throughout the day.

Thankfully, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set forth drinking water standards and guidelines that can help ensure that employees are offered safe, sanitary drinking water while on the clock. But what are U.S. drinking water laws, and how can you guarantee that your employees are drinking the healthiest water every day?

OSHA Drinking Water Standards

Every U.S.-based business, whether it’s a corporate office, restaurant, bar, or hotel, is required to follow OSHA drinking water standards, as well as the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act. According to the United States Department of Labor, employers are required to:

●      Provide employees with potable water and ensure it is only used for employee health and personal needs, such as drinking water and washing hands.

●      Provide potable drinking water in adequate amounts to meet the health and personal needs of each person working at your company.

●      Dispense drinking water from a fountain, a covered container with single-use drinking cups stored in a sanitary receptacle, or single-use bottles.

●      Prohibit employees from sharing drinking cups, dippers, and water bottles.

As you can see, OSHA doesn’t force you to install a filtered water dispenser or water filtration system, so simply offering drinking water that comes from a dedicated drinking water supply is considered “sanitary” according to U.S. law. Under OSHA’s guidelines, the water you provide your staff can even come from a break room sink where employees rinse dishes or wash their hands.

OSHA Drinking Water Requirements: How Water Filtration Systems Help Meet the Guidelines

Because potable water must meet its own safety standards for consumption under the Safe Drinking Water Act, it is generally safe for most people to drink. However, you may want to go a step further to offer your staff clean drinking water.

A filtered water dispenser can provide healthy water that is fresh and free from contaminants that are often found in potable water. If your city is like most, a small percentage of these contaminants are allowed to be present in the potable water you serve employees. But a great water filtration system can drastically reduce or eliminate impurities, resulting in the cleanest, best-tasting drinking water you have ever tasted.

Filtered water dispensers hook directly into your business’s water line and use active carbon and a NanoCeram filter to remove impurities from treated tap water such as chlorine, pesticides, heavy metals, and even bacteria. Point-of-use water dispensers are simple to use and offer an unlimited supply of chilled still, chilled sparkling, and ambient water which can encourage staff to stay hydrated, healthy, and productive throughout the day. 

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