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Range Housing Safety and Health Checklist

This range housing safety and health checklist may be used as an aid by H-2A employers providing range housing subject to the standards at 20 CFR 655.235.

Housing site – 20 CFR 655.235(a)

  • Area is well drained and free of depressions where water may stagnate

Water supply – 20 CFR 655.235(b)

  • An adequate and convenient supply of water that meets the standards of the State or local health authority is provided
  • 4.5 gallons of potable water per day per worker for drinking and cooking is provided, delivered on regular basis NOTE: Where workers are located in areas that are not accessible by motorized vehicle, an employer may request a variance from the Office of Foreign Labor Certification Certifying Officer (CO) for this requirement. See 20 CFR 655.235(b)(4)
  • Individual drinking cups are provided
  • Containers appropriate for storing and using potable water are provided; in locations subject to freezing temperature, the containers are small enough to store in housing unit to prevent freezing
  • Water for workers is not used to water dogs, horses, or herd
  • Additional water, safe and sufficient to meet the laundry and bathing needs of each worker, is provided

Excreta and liquid waste disposal – 20 CFR 655.235(c)

  • Facilities, including shovels, are provided and maintained for disposal of excreta and liquid waste in accordance with the requirements of the State health authority or involved Federal agency
  • If pits are used, they are kept fly-tight when not filled in completely after each use and are maintained in accordance with State and local health and sanitation requirements

Housing structure – 20 CFR 655.235(d)

  • Structure is sound, in good repair, in a sanitary condition, and provides shelter against the elements
  • (Except tents) Has rigid, easy to clean flooring and flooring is located to prevent ground and surface water from entering
  • Each housing unit has at least one window that can be opened or skylight opening directly to the outdoors
  • Tents appropriate to weather conditions are used only where the terrain and/or land use regulations do not permit the use of more substantial housing

Heating – 20 CFR 655.235(e)

  • Where climate requires heated living quarters (low temperature for any day in the work contract period is reasonably expected to drop below 50°F), heating equipment that supplies adequate heat is properly installed and operable
  • Where climate is mild (low temperature for any day in the work contract period not reasonably expected to drop below 50°F), no separate heating equipment is required provided that proper protective clothing and bedding are made available free of charge or deposit to the workers
  • Stoves – any stove or other sources of heat using combustible fuel is installed and vented in such a manner as to prevent fire hazards and a dangerous concentration of gas
  • Floor – if solid or liquid fuel stove is used in a room with wooden or other combustible flooring, a solid concrete slab, insulated metal sheet, or other fireproof material is on the floor under each stove, extending 18 or more inches beyond the perimeter of the base
  • Wall – any wall or ceiling within 18 inches of a solid or liquid fuel stove or pipe is made of fireproof material
  • Vented collar is installed around any stovepipe or vent passing through a wall, ceiling, floor, or roof
  • Any automatic controls cut off fuel supply when flame fails or is interrupted or exceeds safe temperature or pressure
  • Tent – any heater used in a tent is approved by a testing service and the tent is fireproof

Lighting – 20 CFR 655.235(f)

  • In areas without electrical service, lanterns are provided (kerosene wick lights meet the definition of lantern)
  • Where used, one lantern per worker provided (minimum ratio)

Bathing, laundry, and hand washing – 20 CFR 655.235(g)

  • Facilities are provided when it is not feasible to provide hot and cold water under pressure

Food storage – 20 CFR 655.235(h)

  • When mechanical refrigeration is not feasible, means of keeping food fresh and preventing spoilage, such as butane or propane gas refrigerator, are provided; other proven methods such as dehydrating and salting are acceptable

Cooking and eating facilities – 20 CFR 655.235(i)

  • When permitted or required to cook in individual unit, a space is provided with adequate lighting and ventilation
  • Wall surfaces next to food preparation and cooking areas are made of non-absorbent, easy to clean material; wall surfaces next to cooking areas are made of fire-resistant material

Garbage and other refuse – 20 CFR 655.235(j)

  • Durable, fly tight, clean containers are provided to each housing unit, including tents, for garbage and refuse
  • Provisions are made for collecting refuse, which include garbage, at least twice a week or more if necessary
  • If housing is not accessible by vehicle and refuse cannot be buried, appropriate receptacles for storing the refuse and for removing when employer next transports supplies to the location are provided
  • Appropriate materials, including sprays and sealed containers for storing food, to aid housing occupants in combating insects, rodents, and other vermin are provided

Sleeping facilities – 20 CFR 655.235(l)

  • A separate comfortable and clean bed, cot, or bunk, with clean mattress is provided for each person (except in a family arrangement)
    NOTE: Where it is impractical to provide a comfortable and clean bed, cot, or bunk, with a clean mattress, for each range worker, the employer may request a variance from the CO for this requirement. See 20 CFR 655.235(l).

Fire, safety, and first aid – 20 CFR 655.235(m)

  • All units in which people sleep or eat are constructed and maintained per applicable state or local fire and safety law
  • No flammable or volatile liquid or materials are stored in or next to rooms used for living purposes, except for those needed for current household use
  • Has a second means of escape through which the worker can exit the unit without difficulty
  • Tents not required to have second means of escape except when large tents with rigid material walls are used
  • Adequate, accessible fire extinguishers in good working condition and first aid kits are provided


This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations.

Where to Obtain Additional Information

For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division website: and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).