Infection Control and Equipment Maintenance Standard

Updated: Recently Updated
January 2007, January 2009, June 2012, November 2017
Date Approved:
November 2005

1. Authority and Responsibility

Physiotherapists must identify and minimize any risks caused by infections or the use of equipment in their practice.

2. Infection Prevention and Control

Physiotherapists must use current and generally-accepted infection prevention and control measures that are relevant to their practice setting. This requires physiotherapists to:

  • maintain current knowledge of infection prevention and control measures,
  • consider the risks of transmission among patients, self, other health professionals, and staff before each patient interaction,
  • incorporate the appropriate infection prevention and control measures based on the risks of transmission,
  • ensure that there are appropriate written infection prevention and control protocols in their practice setting.

Current and generally-accepted infection prevention and control measures include, but are not limited to:

  • hand hygiene
  • use of personal protective equipment (e.g. gloves, gowns, masks, respirators)
  • cleaning, disinfecting and/or sterilizing equipment appropriately
  • not re-using single-use equipment (e.g. single-use electrodes)
  • safe management and disposal of waste and sharps
  • any other additional measures that may be necessary, such as single room treatment areas or safe handling of soiled linen

3. Equipment Maintenance

Physiotherapists must ensure that the equipment they use to provide patient care is properly maintained and safe. This means ensuring that the equipment is inspected, maintained, and serviced according to the health facility’s policies, manufacturers’ guidelines, and legislative requirements.
Physiotherapists must have a written process for routinely reviewing the maintenance and safety of the equipment they use, and be able to demonstrate that they did the review.


The following list of resources will assist physiotherapists in meeting the expectations in this Standard. While this list is in no way complete, physiotherapists can use these resources as a starting point for learning more about best practices in infection prevention and control.

1.    Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Canada Evidence-based Guidelines

2.    Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) documents:

3.    Public Health Ontario (PHO) documents:

4.    Public Health Ontario IPAC Core Competencies online course
       Cleaning and Disinfecting for Public Settings 

5.    WHO tools for infection control in healthcare

6.    Duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Physiotherapists have additional responsibilities to uphold as employers, supervisors or workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its associated regulations. Please refer to the Government of Ontario’s Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act for more information.