In a work setting, the word “housekeeping” means much more. Housekeeping is crucial to safe workplaces. It can help prevent injuries and improve productivity and morale, as well as make a good first impression on visitors.
From traditional offices to industrial workplaces, including factories, warehouses and manufacturing plants that present special challenges such as hazardous materials, combustible materials.
All workplace safety should incorporate housekeeping, and every worker should play a part. In addition, housekeeping should have management’s commitment, so workers realise its importance. Slips, trips and falls, all workplaces should be “kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition”. includes passageways, storerooms and service rooms. Floors should be clean and dry. Drainage should be present where “wet processes are used.”
Employers should select adequate flooring (e.g., cement, ceramic tile or another material), as different types of flooring hold up better under certain conditions, develop and implement housekeeping procedures using appropriate cleaners.“Things like oils and grease – if you don’t use the right kind of cleaning protocols, you’ll just spread slipperiness around rather than getting it up and off the floor.
To help prevent slip, trip and fall incidents:
• Report and clean up spills and leaks;
• Keep aisles and exits clear of items;
• Consider installing mirrors and warning signs to help with blind spots;
• Replace worn, ripped or damage flooring.
• Consider installing anti-slip flooring in areas that can’t always be cleaned.
• Use drip pans and guards where appropriate and;
• In addition, provide mats, platforms or “other dry standing places”.
Every workplace should be free of projecting nails, splinters, holes and loose boards. Employers should audit for trip hazards. A cluttered workplace can lead to ergonomics issues and possible injuries because workers have less space to move. When an area is cluttered, you’re not going to have as much room to set up your workstation like you should and move around. You’re going to be twisting your body rather than moving your whole body.
Keep aisles, stairways, emergency exits, electrical panels and doors clear of clutter, and purge untidy areas. Empty trash receptacles before they overflow.
Eliminate fire hazards
Unnecessary combustible materials, employers are responsible for ensuring the work area is kept clear of accumulating waste. Keep combustible materials in the work area only in amounts needed for the job. When they are not needed, move them to an assigned safe storage area.
Keep passageways and fire doors free of obstructions. Stairwell doors should be kept closed. Do not store items in stairwells. Keep materials away from automatic sprinklers, fire extinguishers and sprinkler controls.
All workers should participate in housekeeping, especially in terms of keeping their own work areas tidy, reporting safety hazards and cleaning up spills, if possible.
Every worker does have a role in housekeeping, if they see something is becoming a problem, they need to report it.
Housekeeping should be more than a one-time initiative – it should continue through monitoring and auditing. Keep records, maintain a regular walk through inspection schedule, report hazards and train employees to help sustain housekeeping.
Housekeeping issues are very common. They can be easy to fix.
The Avensure Health & Safety team are happy to talk you through the health and safety procedures businesses need to have in place and how to start the process, so please contact us if you want to discuss your health and safety needs in more detail.
Please quote your Client Account Number on all correspondence and telephone calls. 24-hour client advice line: 0330 100 8704