Introduction: Good housekeeping will not only promote a safer more efficient work environment, it is also required by OSHA. We are constantly looking for ways to work better and faster. One way we can save time is by keeping a clean and orderly work area. Good housekeeping practices will save time and help make your work area safer. However, a scheduled cleanup once a week may help, but will not guarantee safety. Housekeeping is a job that must be ongoing, conducted daily, and should not be put off. We have to pick up, throw out and put away as we go. Housekeeping is a responsibility not only of supervisors, but of each individual worker. Do not wait for someone else to clean up or to tell you to clean up. No matter who left it there, pick it up and put it in a safe place. Following are guidelines for keeping a clean, safe working environment:
- Never leave trash, garbage, or debris haphazardly around your work area. If garbage, trash, and debris must accumulate, designate a predetermined disposal area and dispose of all trash, garbage, and hazards in the designated disposal area.
- Clean up any spills or leaks immediately to eliminate any hazard of slip, or fall injuries.
- Ensure that any cords or trip hazards are not left in aisles or walkways or where individuals may injure themselves.
- Dispose of any unusable material that may accumulate in your work area.
- Remove boxes and other hazards from aisles, walkways, or stairways. Ensure that exits are never blocked or locked.
- Watch out for accumulation of fire hazards such as greasy rags, chemicals, and electrical hazards.
- Ensure that any flammables or hazardous chemicals are stored and disposed of properly.
- Never leave hazards exposed. If necessary provide barriers, signs, and warnings.
- Ensure that all machine and equipment guards are in place and secure.
- Keep tool boxes and tool cribs neat, clean, and orderly.
- Keep storage areas clean and organized.
- Never leave sharp tools unattended or sharp edges exposed.
- Immediately clean up any glass, nails, or other laceration/puncture hazards.
- Floor holes or openings must be guarded by a cover, grating, guardrail, or equivalent on all sides except at the entrance to stairways or ladders. Grates or similar covers over floor openings (such as floor drains) must be designated so that foot traffic or rolling material handling equipment will not be caught in the grate spacing.
- Toe boards must be installed around the edges of a permanent floor opening where persons may pass below the opening.
Conclusion: As a professional, it is important to promote a positive image not only for yourself but also our company. Good housekeeping is a positive sign of organization, looks professional, saves time, improves moral and reduces accidents.