Effective housekeeping can eliminate some workplace hazards and help get a job done safely and properly. Poor housekeeping can frequently contribute to accidents by hiding hazards that cause injuries. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious health and safety hazards may be taken for granted.
Housekeeping is not just cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly: maintaining halls and floors free of slip and trip hazards; and removing of 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 accident and fire prevention.
Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a hit-and-miss clean up done occasionally. Periodic “panic” Clean ups are costly and Ineffective in reducing accidents.
Purpose of workplace Housekeeping:
Poor housekeeping can be a cause of accidents, such as:
- tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms
- being hit by falling objects
- slipping on greasy, wet or dirty 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
To avoid these hazards, a workplace must “maintain” order throughout a workday. Although this effort requires a great deal of management and planning, the benefits are many.
Benefits of good Housekeeping practices:
Effective housekeeping results in:
- Reduced handling to ease the flow of materials
- Fewer tripping and slipping accidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas
- Decreased fire hazards
- Lower worker exposures to hazardous-substances (e.g. Dusts, vapors)
- Belter control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies
- More efficient equipment clean-up and maintenance
- Better hygienic conditions leading to improved health
- More effective use of space
- Less janitorial work
- Improved morale
- Reduced property damage by improving preventive maintenance
- Improved productivity (tools and materials will be easy to find).