Good housekeeping is the foundation of a safe, healthy and pleasant workplace
what’s the big deal
- Employees should be aware of hazards arising from poor housekeeping.
- Good housekeeping improves safety, efficiency, and quality at the same time.
- Plus bonus, it’s easier to find things!
- Keep work areas neat and clean.
- Place tools, equipment, and supplies in their correct places.
- Keep stairways and other walkways free of debris, hoses and other obstructions. Put trash in approved containers.
- Remove protruding objects such as nails, spikes, wire or other sharp points.
- Keep workbenches and stations free from items that are not being used or worked on at present. Place oily rags in the metal containers provided.
- Paper cups, plates, and lunch debris, including trash must be thrown in the appropriate trash cans.
- To avoid skin irritations, wash frequently, using soap and water. Wear gloves when handling substances that may cause irritation.
- Cigarette butts belong in containers provided.
Employee’s Housekeeping Responsibility
Good housekeeping is a team effort and a team is made up of individuals. The individual employee’s responsibility is as follows:
- To keep work areas clean, neat, tidy and free from excessive material at all times. To work areas clean during the shift.
- To constantly put trash in the proper trash bins, scrap in the scrap bins and recyclable materials in the designated bins with lids.
- To keep the floors free from excessive material.
- To ensure that aisles and walkways are clear, unobstructed and in good order.
- To ensure that materials are stacked correctly and safely in the correct places.
- Make sure you follow the rules to prevent accidents by practicing good housekeeping.
- Make sure all containers are labeled; the labels should be legible not blurred by liquids that have run down the outside of the containers.
- Do not store supplies where they may be mistaken for something else. For example, it is not a good idea to store caustic chemicals with cleaning powders and liquids.
- Be familiar with special chemicals, gases, and liquids that are used in your work area, and know the ones that can and cannot be stored together. Some substances, like oxygen and fuel gases, have the potential for disaster when stored in close proximity.
- Dispose of hazardous substances—like flammable liquids and chemical reagents—by the safe method prescribed. Contact l EH&S for pick up and disposal of all hazardous materials.
- Clean up your work area immediately after completing each task; never leave an area cluttered with tools or supplies that could present tripping hazards.
- Clean up spilled liquids right away; they can cause slips and falls.
- Pick up broken glass immediately with a broom and dustpan, never with your hands. • Do not allow debris, such as cleaning rags and paper to accumulate anywhere, because this creates a serious fire hazard.
- Respect “Wet Floor” signs. They are used for your protection.
Three Types of Hazards Resulting From Poor Housekeeping
Slip, trip, and fall hazards–
- One of the most common types of hazards created by poor housekeeping is a slip, trip, and fall hazards. When objects, materials, tools, and equipment are not properly stored workers are bound to trip over them. Slippery conditions are created when water, moisture, oils, grease, etc. are left on the floor in work areas. Fall hazards are created when employees have to stand on makeshift surfaces to reach items stored at higher levels. Falls also occur when changes in elevation are not properly marked or barricaded in work areas.
Strain and sprain hazards–
- Sprains and strains injuries can result from a slip, trip, and fall incidents. They also can occur when heavy items are not properly put away. When heavy or awkward objects are placed on the floor and need to be picked up by a worker it creates a risk of injury. Too often items have to be moved when there is poor housekeeping in a work area just for the sake of getting them out of the way. Because of unnecessary lifting, sprains and strains can occur.
- Whether you are working in a construction or a manufacturing setting, there are plenty of sharp objects that can cut your hand or body. When items are not properly stored this creates a huge risk for laceration injuries. Sharp tools, jagged metal, sharp-edged material, etc. can all easily cut through a glove or clothing and injure a worker.
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Cleaning is the first step to safety.