Safety Tip of the Week

Housekeeping and Safety

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares tips about housekeeping and safety in the workplace.

Effective housekeeping can eliminate some workplace hazards and help get jobs done safely and properly. Poor housekeeping frequently contributes to accidents by hiding hazards that cause injuries. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious health and safety hazards may be taken for granted.

Housekeeping is not just cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly; maintaining halls and floors free of slip and trip hazards; and removing of waste materials (e.g., paper, cardboard). It also requires paying attention to important details such as the layout of the whole workplace, aisle marking, the adequacy of storage facilities and maintenance. Good housekeeping is a basic part of accident prevention.

Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally.

Poor Housekeeping Can Cause:

  • Tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms
  • Being hit by falling objects
  • Slipping on wet surfaces
  • Striking against projecting, poorly stacked items or misplaced material

Benefits of Proper Housekeeping:

  • Fewer tripping and slipping accidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas
  • Decreased fire hazards
  • Prevent injuries
  • More effective use of space
  • Less janitorial work
  • Improved morale

Good Housekeeping is the first principle of safety.