Housekeeping: Clearing Away the Safety Hazards

Why should we pay attention to housekeeping at work? Effective housekeeping can help control or eliminate workplace hazards. Poor housekeeping practices frequently contribute to incidents and look bad from our Client’s perspective. Housekeeping is not just about cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly, maintaining halls and floors free of slip and trip hazards, and removing waste materials (e.g., paper, cardboard) and other fire hazards from work areas. It also requires paying attention to important details such as the layout of the whole workplace, aisle marking, the adequacy of storage facilities, and maintenance. Good housekeeping is also a basic part of incident and fire prevention. Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a one-time or hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally.

What is the purpose of workplace housekeeping?
Poor housekeeping can be a cause of incidents such as:

  • Tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs, and platforms.
  • Being hit by falling objects.
  • Slipping on greasy, wet, or dry surfaces.
  • Striking against projecting, poorly stacked items, or misplaced material.
  • Cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other parts of the body on projecting nails, wire or, steel strapping.

What are some benefits of good housekeeping practices?
Effective housekeeping results in:

  • Reduced handling to ease the flow of materials.
  • Fewer tripping and slipping incidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas.
  • Decreased fire hazards.
  • Lower worker exposures to hazardous products (e.g. dust, vapors).
  • Better control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies.
  • More efficient equipment cleanup and maintenance.Better hygienic conditions leading to improved health.
  • More effective use of space.
  • Reduced property damage by improving preventive maintenance.
  • Improved morale.
  • Improved productivity (tools and materials will be easy to find).

“Safety Always is ALWAYS!!”

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