Safety Housekeeping Tips
Occupational Safety Housekeeping Guide
A large number of work accidents are caused by the conditions in the work environment. If people were more aware of the hazardous conditions in their job, and practiced good Safety Housekeeping to help rid the workplace of hazards, many accidents would never happen. Learn the best practices for occupational safety housekeeping.
OSHA provides information about the importance of Occupational Safety Housekeeping. Many times the accidents we experience are caused by the conditions around us. Slippery floors, broken tools, left over materials, can all cause painful accidents. According to OSHA regulations, employers need to keep work spaces and storerooms clean and orderly.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) wants to eliminate work-related illnesses and injuries. They provide several resources about keeping your workplace clean and safe.
Here are some housekeeping tips that will help you keep your work area safe:
- Immediately clean up anything on the floor that creates a slip hazard: water, grease, paper, dust or other debris. (Get assistance if needed or required.)
- Keep walkways clear of boxes and other obstructions.
- Close cabinets used for storage when not in use.
- Never block fire exits or fire equipment.
- Make sure stacked materials do not impede vision.
- Don’t store items in or on electrical panels or control boxes.
- Pick up and store tools in their proper location immediately after use.
- Keep ventilation systems clear of dust and debris and stored materials.
- Make sure receptacles for waste and debris are conveniently located.
- Remove combustible waste often to minimize the fire hazard.
- Set a good example for other employees by maintaining good housekeeping in your work area.
Poor housekeeping is a sign for other problems in the workplace. Cal/OSHA has a number of regulations related to housekeeping in construction - found in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (T8CCR). Workplace Safety Housekeeping is one of the most basic and important safety steps you can take. Poor housekeeping increases injuries and costly insurance claims.
Here's a written plan from Brookhaven National Laboratory for establishing the requirements for an industrial housekeeping program. Each year on-the-job accidents cause millions of people to suffer painful injuries, and result in billions of dollars worth of damage. Reducing the number of accidents attributable to poor housekeeping practices is good business. The reduction serves a twofold purpose by helping to keep workers safe and on the job and by reducing equipment losses.
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