Effective housekeeping is an ongoing process
It is a common misconception that housekeeping is only meant for the home. Effective housekeeping in the workplace can minimize workplace injuries and related incidents and eliminate workplace hazards. Housekeeping is not only about general cleanliness; it includes (but is not limited to) keeping all work areas neat and orderly, making sure that halls and floors are free of slip and trip hazards, and also removing any waste materials such as paper, cardboard and other fire hazards from the work area.
Good housekeeping also requires that one pay attention to more important details such as aisle marking, the layout of the workplace, adequacy of storage facilities and also maintenance.
A basic part of incident and fire prevention in the workplace is good housekeeping. Effective housekeeping is an ongoing process and not just a once off spring clean.
Poor housekeeping causes incidents such as:
tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms
being hit by falling objects
slipping on greasy, wet or dirty surfaces
striking against projecting, poorly stacked items or misplaced material
cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other parts of the body on projecting nails, wire or steel strapping
A workplace needs to maintain order throughout the day to prevent these incidents from occurring. This does require a great deal of planning, effort and management but it is completely worth it in the long run.
Effective housekeeping has many great benefits, among which are:
* reduced handling to ease the flow of materials
* fewer tripping and slipping incidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas
* decreased fire hazards
* lower employee exposures to hazardous products (e.g. dusts, vapours)
* better control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies
* more efficient equipment clean-up and maintenance
* better hygienic conditions leading to improved health
* more effective use of space
* reduced property damage by improving preventive maintenance
* less manual work
* improved morale
* improved productivity (tools and materials will be easy to find)