Temporary Housing for Workers

Chapter 296-833, WAC

Effective Date: 12/01/02


Shelter Location and Structure Requirements

WAC 296-833-200

For printing

Your responsibility:

To provide and maintain safe and healthful housing for your temporary workers.

You must:

Provide and maintain sufficient grounds and open areas in temporary housing sites

Follow these design and equipment requirements for shelters

WAC 296-833-20005

Provide and maintain sufficient grounds and open areas in temporary housing sites.

You must:

(1) Make sure that all temporary housing sites:

  • Are adequately drained and are free from ground depressions in which water may accumulate
  • Have no history of flooding
  • Don't endanger any domestic or public water supply with their drainage
  • Are located at least 200 feet from a swamp, pool, sink hole, or other surface collection of water unless the water surface can be treated for mosquito control.

(2) Make sure the housing area is large enough to prevent the buildings from being crowded too closely together.

(3) Make sure the principal housing areas for sleeping and food preparation/eating are at least 500 feet from livestock operations.



Livestock operations include, among other things, dairy farms, corrals, slaughterhouses, feedlots, and stockyards. Operations where livestock can roam on a pasture over a distance may be treated as outside the definition.

(4) Make sure that grounds and open areas surrounding the shelters are maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.


WAC 296-833-20010

Follow these design and equipment requirements for shelters.

You must:

(1) Make sure that every shelter in the camp provides protection against the elements.

(2) Make sure each dwelling unit:

  • Has at least 70 square feet of floor space for the first occupant and at least 50 square feet of floor space for each additional occupant
  • That is designated a family unit has a separate sleeping area for children over 6 years old
  • With designated sleeping room(s) has at least 50 square feet of floor space in the sleeping room for each occupant
  • Has at least a 7-foot ceiling
  • Has windows:
    • -  Covering a total area equal to at least 1/10 of the floor area
    •    and
    • -  At least 1/2 of which can be opened for ventilation
  • Has each exterior opening screened with 16-mesh material
  • Has screen doors with self-closing devices.

(3) Make sure that the floors of each shelter are constructed of wood, asphalt, or concrete.

  • Floors must be kept in good repair
  • If wooden floors are used, they must be:
    • -  Elevated one foot above ground level at all points to prevent dampness and to permit free air circulation
    • -  Smooth and tight.



You may "bank" around outside walls with earth or other suitable material to guard against extreme low temperatures.


(4) Provide beds, cots, or bunks, and suitable storage facilities such as wall lockers for clothing and personal articles in every sleeping room.

  • Beds must be at least 36 inches away from other beds, both side to side and end to end
  • The frame of the bed must keep mattresses at least 12 inches off the floor
  • Double-deck bunks must be spaced at least 48 inches away from other beds, both side to side and end to end
  • The minimum clear space between lower and upper bunks must be at least 27 inches
  • Triple-deck bunks are not allowed.

(5) Provide equipment that adequately heats the living area whenever the camp is used during cold weather.



All heating, cooking, and water heating equipment must meet state and local ordinances, codes, and regulations concerning installation.



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