What does housekeeping have to do with safety? It wouldn't be a stretch to say everything! From cuts and scrapes to slip,
trips, and falls, poor housekeeping is one of the major causes of employee injuries. When good housekeeping practices are
in place, there is a reduction in work place hazards. Good housekeeping can do more than just reduce hazards and associated
accidents. Working in a clean, organized environment is more enjoyable and can increase employee pride. Good housekeeping
can also save time and increase productivity. When tools and materials are returned to their proper place, time is not wasted
looking for needed items. This provides the worker more time to spend on productivity.
To keep your work area safe, maintain
your daily housekeeping tasks and use the following tips:
* Wipe up accidental spills immediately.
* Stack materials
neatly - place heavy or bulky items on the bottom.
* Keep cabinet doors and drawers closed.
* Return equipment and tools
to their proper place after use.
* Properly dispose of waste and scrap as it collects, and ensure that it is placed in
the appropriate receptacle. This includes flammable liquids, oily and paint-covered rags, and paper trash.
* Keep floors
free of clutter.
* Keep stairs, aisles, and walkways clear.
* Ensure that exits are clearly marked and free of obstructions.
Do not overfill racks, bins, and storage areas.
* Repair broken tools or report them to your supervisor.
* Follow cleaning
and maintenance routines including lockout/tagout procedures.
* Be sure guards and interlocks are secure and in good working
* Maintain good lighting.
* Dispose of old newspapers, magazines, boxes, unused furniture, and old uniforms or
lab coats in the appropriate manner.
* Ensure that pipes or containers that hold hazardous substances are leak free.
Ensure that tools, especially those with sharp edges or pointed tips, are stored properly when not in use.
* Keep sprinkler
heads and fire extinguishers free of obstructions.
Proper housekeeping is very important to assuring the safety of employees
during renovation and maintenance work, and the safety of building occupants while this work is being performed. Departments
are responsible for the following:
• Nails protruding from lumber must be removed or bent over during the course
of the work.
• Combustible scrap and debris must be removed at regular intervals and not allowed to accumulate.
Wastes must be disposed of at frequent intervals.
• Containers must be provided for collection and separation
of all refuse. Covers must be provided on containers used for flammable or harmful substances.
• Do not
use corridors or aisles for storage of materials.
• A minimum clear egress width of 28 inches, or the equivalent
clear width of the exit door for the space, must be maintained at all times.
• Materials must not be stacked
within 18 inches of fire sprinkler heads or Halon system discharge nozzles.
• Materials must not be stored
so that they project into aisles or passageways in a manner that could cause occupants to trip or that could delay an emergency
• All stored materials must be stacked in stable piles. Materials such as pipe that could
roll must be chocked or braced to prevent rolling.
• Keep fire doors closed at all times!