General: Maintaining a neat and orderly work environment not only creates a pleasant atmosphere, but can also keep hazards from developing. For the next few minutes I want you to put on your thinking hat to see why good housekeeping is a critical part of your job.
1. True or False? OSHA has regulations related to housekeeping.
The answer is true.
- Housekeeping is addressed in OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces Standards.
- OSHA says that all places of employment, passageways, store rooms and service rooms must be kept clean, orderly and in a sanitary condition.
- The floor of every workroom must be maintained in a clean and dry condition.
- Where wet processes are used, drainage must be maintained, and false floors, platforms, mats and other dry standing surfaces should be provided.
- Every floor, working place and passageway must be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, holes, or loose boards.
- Where mechanical handling equipment is used, sufficient clearances must be allowed for aisles, at loading docks and through doorways.
- Aisles and passageways must be kept clear and in good repair.
- Permanent aisles and passageways must be appropriately marked.
- Covers and/or guardrails must be provided to protect workers from open pits, tanks, vats, ditches, etc.
2. Here are some tips to follow regarding waste disposal.
- Put waste in the appropriate place.
- Don’t overfill trash cans.
- Be cautious when disposing of hazardous materials.
- Don’t mix dangerous waste in the same bin.
- Empty full trash bins regularly.
3. True or False? Housekeeping is really the job of the janitorial staff.
The answer is false.
- While the janitorial staff is responsible for keeping the workplace clean, housekeeping is really everyone’s responsibility.
- If you see a spill, don’t just expect someone else to clean it up – clean it up yourself, or put out warning signs and alert the appropriate person in the case of a hazardous materials spill.
- If you see trash on the floor, don’t just shake your head and walk by, pick it up and throw it away.
- Keep your work area neat and tidy by cleaning up every day.
- Remind your co-workers that they are responsible for good housekeeping, too.
4. Using a checklist can help you keep your work area neat and orderly. Can you think of other items that should be added to the below checklist?
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Maintain tools in good working order.
- Keeps tools, equipment and other materials in their proper place when not in use.
- Use extension cords only when necessary and only on a temporary basis.
- Do not run cords across walkways
- Inspect cords and tools for damage prior to use.
- Keep sharp-edges tools sheathed when not in use.
- Do not allow trash to accumulate.
- Make sure chemical containers are labeled properly.
- Check chemical containers for leaks.
- Store chemicals appropriately and safely.
- Keep food and drinks out of the work area.
- Report any potential housekeeping hazards.
Summary: It is critical that we all take responsibility for good housekeeping. Remember, your safety and the safety of our co-workers is in your hands. Let’s all work together as a team to keeping our work area the safest possible.