It might not your mess, but it could be your injury!
Everyone plays an important role in good housekeeping on a job site. Good housekeeping implies that a workplace is kept in an organized, uncluttered, and hazard-free condition. While this is a relatively simple concept, the benefits that can be realized from good housekeeping practices are far reaching and affect not only workers’ safety but also their health and productivity. Improvements in worker health and productivity, in turn, lead to lower operating costs thereby providing benefits to both the workers and the employer.
Good housekeeping is not just about cleanliness; it lays the basic foundation for accident and fire prevention. It requires attention to details, such as the layout of the worksite, clear and maintained routes to facilities (job trailers, Sani-Can, crew shacks, etc.), identification and marking of physical hazards, ensuring the adequate number of storage facilities, and routine maintenance.
Here are some of the many benefits that can be gained when implementing good workplace housekeeping:
Improved Worker Safety
- Fewer trip and slip incidents where walkways and working surfaces are free of clutter and spills
- Decreased fire hazards as a result of the reduction or elimination of waste, dust, debris, and other flammable materials
- Reduced number of workers being struck by objects through organized and careful storage of materials, tools, and equipment
- Fewer worker injuries as a result of defective or malfunctioning parts through timely maintenance of machinery, equipment, or systems
Improved Worker Health
- Reduced worker exposure to hazardous substances, such as dust and vapor buildup, by following a regular cleaning schedule
- Improved working conditions and worker health through regular servicing, cleaning, and supplying sanitation facilities
Increased Worker Productivity/Reduced Costs
- Safe work environments lead to healthier workers, higher worker morale, and increased productivity
- Workplace cleanup and maintenance, including worker training, will ensure better control over tools and materials as well as the inventory of supplies
- Tidy and clean work areas allow for more effective use of space
- Improved preventive maintenance can reduce property damage
- Increased worker participation in general housekeeping helps reduce the workload