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You may not think of Housekeeping as being important, but in fact, it can be critical to worker safety. If you think of your workplace right now, is it tidy? Are the aisles open? Is stuff put away? Believe it or not, many accidents can happen due to poor housekeeping. Keeping a clean, organized environment is important to worker safety, especially when it is an environment you are in every day, and probably navigate without thinking. But what if boxes are left out, and you trip? What if a drink was spilled and not cleaned up properly? Accidents caused by a messy work environment contribute to a significant number of incidents a year. All of which could have been avoided by proper housekeeping and paying attention.
Good housekeeping implies that your workplace is kept organized, uncluttered, and in a hazard free condition. But awareness is also important. Knowledge of your work space and where accidents are likely to occur can go a long way to keeping you safe. Keeping your environment clean aids in worker safety, as there are fewer trips and falls, it aids in worker health, as there is less exposure to hazardous chemicals and spills, and it aids in worker productivity, which in turn, leads to reduced costs.
Housekeeping is one of the easiest preventative measures you can take to keep your work environment safe. However, it does require diligence and daily discipline to maintain. The most effective way to do this is through a written, implemented program. This means assigning tasks, training workers, and maintaining daily tasks, such as putting away all trash, and keeping floors clean and clear. It is also important that workers be trained in the housekeeping procedures and report any areas of concern.
Areas of Concern
As you implement a housekeeping program, work together to identify areas of concern and highlight problem spots. Things to address should include dust and dirt removal, vermin control, sanitation facilities, walkways and working surfaces, proper lighting, material storage, and how to handle hazardous waste.