Effective housekeeping can help control or eliminate workplace hazards. Poor housekeeping practices frequently contribute to incidents. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter, and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious 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 incident and fire prevention.
Remember it is important for supervisors to review with employees:
- Best Practice: The importance of good Workplace Housekeeping
- Safety Talk: Bad Housekeeping can Cause Disastrous Consequences
- Safety Talk: How to Clean Up at Work
- Quiz: Test Your Employees about ‘How/What to Clean Up at Work’
- Review Stats and Facts on Slipping Hazards
Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a one-time or hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally. Additionally, periodic “panic” cleanups can be costly and ineffective in reducing incidents.