#6 General Jobsite Housekeeping

Good housekeeping is an important key to reducing accidents and injuries in the workplace.  In business and industry, good housekeeping is equally important in the office, warehouse or shop.  Good housekeeping is the ongoing maintenance of all workplaces and access ways.  It’s more than having a pleasant environment to work in.  A clean, neat and orderly workplace is the fundamental basis of accident, injury and fire prevention.  Facts show that falls are the cause of 10% of on-the-job deaths.  Most of these deaths are due to poor housekeeping and could have been prevented.

Production of a report in an office is much like an order being manufactured and/or filled in a shop or warehouse.  It involves quantities of pre-wrapped supplies coming in, processing and dispatch.  At any given time, because of the throughput of materials, it would not be unexpected to find any work area with a housekeeping problem – the more that is produced, the more material throughput, the more likelihood of scrap, garbage and other residual waste.  The frequent disposal of the waste and cleaning-up has to be relentlessly ongoing as the job progresses.

Hygiene is another factor that needs to be a housekeeping priority.  Waste perishable products, such as lunch in the office, at a microwave or in a kitchen area can attract insects and vermin if not constantly disposed of.  Toilets are also areas that need to be kept clean at all times.

Fire prevention and control are also influenced by housekeeping arrangements and garbage disposal.  Accumulating waste, even in an adjacent area, can significantly affect the prevention of a fire or the control of a fire after it has started.  Needless to say, aisles and walkways need to be kept clear at all times, for rapid and safe evacuation in case of an emergency.

Good housekeeping will reduce the incidence of accidents and injuries, reduce fire risks, lead to more efficient production, improve employee morale and reduce fatigue.  It is a much more important safety factor than most people fully appreciate.