Practice Good Housekeeping
Good housekeeping is one of the surest ways to identify a safe workplace. You can tell how workers feel about safety just by looking at their housekeeping practices. Good housekeeping isn’t the result of cleaning up once a week or even once a day. It’s the result of keeping cleaned-up all the time. It’s an essential factor in a good safety program, promoting safety, health, production, and morale.
Whose responsibility is housekeeping?
It’s everyone’s. Clean work areas and aisles help eliminate tripping hazards. Respecting “wet floor” signs and immediately cleaning up spills prevents slipping injuries. Keeping storage areas uncluttered reduces the chances of disease and fire as well as slips, trips, and falls. Accumulated debris can cause fires and clutter slows movement of personnel and equipment during fires.
Other housekeeping practices include keeping tools and equipment clean and in good shape or keeping hoses and cables or wires bundled when not in use. Broken glass should be picked up immediately with a broom and dustpan, never with bare hands. Be aware of open cabinet drawers, electric wires, sharp corners, or protruding nails. Either correct the unsafe condition if you are able and it is safe to do so or notify the person responsible for overall maintenance that something should be done.
How a workplace looks makes an impression on employees and visitors alike. A visitor’s first impression of a business is important because that image affects the amount of business it does. Good housekeeping goes hand-in-hand with good public relations. It projects order, care, and pride.
Poor housekeeping practices:
Injuries, when employees trip, fall, strike or are struck by out-of-place objects;
Injuries from using improper tools because the correct tool can’t be found;
Lowered production because of the time spent maneuvering over and around someone else’s mess and time spent looking for proper tools and materials;
Time spent investigating and reporting accidents that could have been avoided;
Fires due to improper storage and disposal of flammable or combustible materials and wastes;
Substandard quality of finished products because of production schedule delays, damaged or defective finishes, ill-equipped employees, etc.;
Lack of future work due to a reputation for poor quality; and
- “Wall-to-wall” OSHA inspections due to the “first impression” of the compliance officer.
General housekeeping rules:
Clean up after yourself. Pick up your trash and debris and dispose of it properly or place it where it will not pose a hazard to others. Institute a routine cleaning schedule.
Keep your work area clean throughout the day. This will minimize the amount of time needed to clean a “larger mess” at the end of the day.
Dispose of combustibles and flammables properly. If improperly discarded, they will increase the potential for a fire.
Remove protruding nails and other sharp objects or hammer them flat to prevent someone from stepping on them or snagging himself.
- Stack materials and supplies in an orderly manner and secure them so they won’t topple.
Besides preventing accidents and injuries, good housekeeping saves space, time, and materials. When a workplace is clean, orderly, and free of obstruction, the employee can get the work done safely and properly. Workers feel better, think better, and increase the quantity and quality of their work.
Good housekeeping is an on-going process and requires a conscious effort and energy by everybody. It is everybody’s responsibility to maintain good housekeeping.
Make it your mission…not to live in unsafe condition!!
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