Synaco take workplace safety very seriously and want to remind everyone that this month’s safety theme is ‘Housekeeping’. Effective housekeeping can eliminate workplace hazards and get a job done safely and properly. Poor housekeeping can contribute to accidents by hiding hazards that cause injuries.
The importance of housekeeping is very significant as everyone’s safety depends on it. Many slips and trips are the result of poor housekeeping and this is often a sign of a lack of clear processes and allocated responsibilities. It is crucial that there are systems in place for storage, maintenance and cleaning. Having these in place greatly reduces the number of injuries, however, housekeeping is not just cleanliness. Good and effective housekeeping includes keeping work areas neat and orderly, maintaining walkways and floors free of slip and trip hazards and removing of waste materials (e.g., paper, cardboard) and other fire hazards from work areas.
Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a hit-and-miss clean-up done occasionally. Periodic “panic” clean-ups are costly and ineffective in reducing accidents.
It’s important that spills are cleaned immediately and not left on the floor. Always make sure that there are no items left out or extending onto walkways or work areas and that flooring, carpet and mats are in good condition. Walkways always need to be well lit and kept clear.
To achieve a tidy workplace that is free from slip, trip and fall hazards you need:
- suitable storage systems
- spill management systems
- routine and spot cleaning
- maintenance schedules
- repairing or replacing carpet flooring that is uneven, buckling, peeling or curled
- repairing or replacing hard surfaces that are uneven, cracked, blistered and with height irregularities.
Effective housekeeping results in:
- reduced handling to ease the flow of materials
- fewer tripping and slipping accidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas
- decreased fire hazards
- lower worker exposures to hazardous substances (e.g. dusts, vapours)
- better control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies
- more effective use of space
- improved morale
- improved productivity (tools and materials will be easy to find)
Good Housekeeping promotes a safe workplace.