What Is A Sluice Room? The Perfect Sluice Room

What is a Sluice room

A sluice room is a room found in hospitals and extended-care facilities such as nursing homes and are used to isolate human waste. It is also called – A solid utility room.

It is also where used disposables such as incontinence pads and bedpans are dealt with, and medical and surgical instruments are sterilized and disinfected.

The idea behind the design of this room is to helps prevent other sanitation facilities from being contaminated with human waste and ensures that the movement of all waste products is accountable to a single end destination.

Element of a sluice room:

It should be a soiled area, where dirty items are gathered.

Should contain a hand washing station

• Should have a flusher disinfectors for human waste containers (such as: Bedpans, urinals, support for disposable bedpans, commode buckets, kidney-shaped basins).

• Should have a clean storage area, well separated from the soiled area.


Read Also: What is a riser room (Sprinkler riser room)


Risk associated with the sluice room

Some risk associated with the sluice room include: Biological risk, chemical risk, electrical risk, fire risk, etc.

  1. Biological risk

Risk of:

  • Infection e.g. Legionnaires’ disease, blood borne virus.

Possible causes:

  • Stagnation of water system or failure to maintain water system.
  • Inappropriate storage and disposal of healthcare risk waste.


2. Chemical risk

Risk of:

  • Adverse health effects such as burns, dermatitis and respiratory problem.
  • Fire.
  • Resident/visitor being able to access hazardous chemicals.

Possible causes:

  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals such as cleaning chemicals and disinfectants.
  • Sensitisation to latex e.g. Use of powdered latex gloves.
  • Mixing incompatible chemicals.
  • Chemicals not stored appropriately.


3. Electrical risk

Risk of:

  • Burns.
  • Electric shock.
  • Death.
  • Fire.

Possible causes:

  • Faulty or damaged equipment e.g. Damaged plugs and cords.
  • Wet contact with electrical equipment.
  • No or poor maintenance of equipment.
  • Overloading of electrical sockets.
  • Improper use of equipment.
  • Residual Current Device (RCD) not working.


4. Fire risk

Risk of:

  • Smoke inhalation.
  • Burns.
  • Death.

Possible causes:

  • Overloaded sockets or extension leads.
  • Faulty equipment.
  • No or poor maintenance of equipment.
  • Blocked or obstructed fire exits.
  • Accumulation of rubbish.
  • Escape routes not clearly marked.
  • Goods stored too close to lights.

There should be mitigation measures to manage the risk associated with the sluice room.


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Read Also: 18 Important Sluice Room Equipment

How to plan a sluice room

A sluice room should be planned at the outset just like the kitchen and the laundry and it number in any facility will depend on the number of floors, the layout of the building, the functions and the services required.

Things to consider includes:

  • Hot and cold water inlets
  • Power supplies and voltages
  • Soil outlets and vents
  • Floor and wall finishing
  • Adequate ventilation

Since the sluice room can be used 24 hours a day, it should be situated where noise from water or clattering hardware is not a nuisance. Wherever possible the room should be divided into ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ areas. Each room needs a sink, preferably with a drainer. Taps are a source of contact by hands and automatic taps or those with elbow levers are preferred. Push or foot operated soap dispensers are recommended. Dedicated hand washing facilities are needed.

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