What does good housekeeping look like?
We all have our opinion of what good housekeeping looks like. What may pass as acceptable to one person may not look so neat and orderly to the next person. But from a safety perspective, some housekeeping issues are never acceptable due to the risk they present to personal or property, or due to regulatory requirements.
Here are some examples.
- Emergency equipment must always have clear and unobstructed access. Never block fire equipment, emergency flushing units, or electrical shutoffs.
- Never leave tools or materials on walking and working surfaces. No one should need to step over or step on materials left behind by another person or crew.
- Don’t store combustibles against or near hot equipment. Wooden scaffold planks have ignited when placed against (hot) equipment once that equipment is started up after a shutdown.
- Similarly, don’t stack combustibles like fiberboard boxes and pallets under pipe racks. If they ignite they can damage the pipe supports or piping.
- Electric cords and hoses that need to cross alleyways or roads used by vehicles need to be placed overhead or protected to prevent damage.
- On platforms, materials and tools should not be stacked above toe boards. If they are accidentally kicked they will create a falling object hazard.
- Slippery conditions created by spilled oil should be cleaned up as soon as possible.
Housekeeping is also a reflection of the pride we take in our workplace, in the way we think about ourselves and in the work we do. So let’s continue to keep housekeeping in focus, to improve safety and to show pride.