The Importance of Good Housekeeping
An Occupational Health and Safety officer once told me he can tell the value management places on health and safety by the housekeeping. Good housekeeping = high value placed on health and safety; bad housekeeping…well, you get the picture. Poor housekeeping can result in cords, protruding objects and debris strewn across the floor, which can cause trips, slips and falls—some of the most common workplace injuries. These kinds of injuries can happen as readily in an office as in an industrial work environment. So what should you do? Try to eliminate hoses, cords and frayed rugs. For example, in an office, switch to wireless mouses, which have no cords at all. (Isn’t technology wonderful?) If you can’t eliminate cords and hoses, then contain them and keep them out of walkways and paths.
When space is an issue, the emergency exits are often the first to be blocked because they’re seen as wasted or unused space. For example, it may be tempting to store boxes, supplies, etc. near or in front of an emergency exit so they’re out of the way. But blocked exits can impede escape during an emergency, which can have catastrophic results. So make sure that emergency exits are kept clean and clear of clutter.
WHAT’S THE DANGER
A messy or untidy workplace can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. You can slip on spills, bump into objects placed in the wrong location or be injured by something falling on you. Fires can start in piles of paper or scrap.
This is why it is important to practice good worksite housekeeping. You may think it is more important to do your work than to clean it up. However, by practicing regular daily maintenance, your job will not only be easier but safer.
Keeping your workplace clean and tidy has many positive effects. It is worth the time and effort. If you clean up as you work, you will find it will not slow down your productivity. You will find you have little cleaning to do when you are finished. A clean and tidy workplace is likely to be a safe and productive one.