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Elements of Housekeeping Program

Good housekeeping program

It would be good to note that a good housekeeping program plans and manages the effective storage and movement of materials from point of entry to exit. It also includes a material flow plan to ensure minimal handling. This plan also makes sure that the work area is not used as a storage area by having workers move materials to and from work areas as needed. It would be wise to invest in extra bins and more frequent disposal. Ineffective or insufficient storage planning results in materials being handled many times and being stored in hazardous ways. It would be beneficial to know the workplace layout and the movement of materials throughout, as this will help when planning work procedures and setting in motion of a good housekeeping program.


Employee training is also crucial to any good housekeeping plan.

Employees need to know how to work safely with the products they use. They also need to know how to protect fellow employees by posting signs (e.g., "Wet - Slippery Floor") and reporting any unusual conditions.


Housekeeping order is not achieved...it is maintained, through hard work, effort and management. A good housekeeping program identifies and assigns responsibilities for the following:

  • clean up during the shift

  • day-to-day clean-up

  • waste disposal

  • removal of unused materials

  • inspection to ensure clean-up is complete

Elements of an Effective Housekeeping Program:



1.) Maintenance

A good maintenance program provides for the inspection, maintenance, upkeep and repair of tools, equipment, machines and processes.


2.) Dust and dirt removal

Vacuum cleaners can be used to remove light dirt and dust that is not hazardous. Floors can be dampened before sweeping to prevent the amount of airborne dust. Dust and grime that collect in places like shelves, piping, conduits, light fixtures, reflectors, windows, cupboards and lockers may require manual cleaning. 3.) Employee Facilities These need to be adequate, clean and well maintained at all times. Wash room facilities ought to be cleaned at the end of each shift and need to have a proper supply of soap, towels and disinfectants if necessary. When employees are using hazardous products, then the facilities ought to include special precautions as needed, such as showers, washing facilities and change rooms. Smoking, eating or drinking in the work area should be prohibited where hazardous products are handled. The eating area should be completely separate from the work area and ought to be cleaned properly after each shift. 4.) Surfaces It is proven that poor floor conditions are a leading cause of incidents, so it is imperative to clean up spilled oil and other liquids at once. Areas that cannot be cleaned continuously, such as entrance ways, ought to have anti-slip flooring. Keeping floors in good order means replacing any worn, ripped, or damaged flooring that poses a tripping hazard. Paint can highlight railings, guards and other safety equipment, but should never be used as a substitute for guarding. The maintenance program should outline the regulations and standards for colours. 5.) Maintain light fixtures Clean light fixtures will improve lighting efficiency significantly. 6.) Aisles and Stairways Aisles ought to be wide enough to accommodate people and vehicles safely. Warning signs and mirrors can be used to improve sight-lines in blind corners. When aisles are arranged properly, it encourages people to use them so that they do not take short-cuts through hazardous areas. Aisles and stairways should never be used as overflow areas for excess storage. Adequate lighting should also be in effect. 7.) Spill Control Regularly clean and maintain machines and equipment to prevent spillage. Drip pans and guards can also be used where spills or leakage may occur. Absorbent materials are very useful for wiping up greasy, oily or other liquid spills. Used absorbent materials need to be disposed of properly and safely. 8.) Tools and Equipment It is important to note that tools require suitable fixtures with marked locations to provide an orderly arrangement. It is imperative to return tools promptly after use so as to reduce the risk of it being misplaced or lost. Employees ought to regularly inspect, clean and repair all tools, taking any damaged or worn tools out of service and replacing them. 9.) Waste Disposal It is important for the regular collection, grading and sorting of scrap as it contributes to good housekeeping practices. It also makes it easier to separate materials that can be recycled from those going to waste disposal facilities. All waste receptacles should be clearly labelled for ease of use. 10.) Storage It is crucial that stored materials do not obstruct aisles, stairs, exits, fire equipment, emergency eyewash fountains, emergency showers, or first aid stations. All storage areas need to be clearly marked. Flammable, combustible, toxic and other hazardous materials should be stored in approved containers in designated areas that are appropriate for the different hazards that they pose. Stored materials should allow at least one metre (or about three feet) of clear space under sprinkler heads.

In summary, the smooth running of an effective and efficient housekeeping program will bring about a safer and more productive work environment.

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