Good housekeeping is the first law of accident prevention and should be a primary concern of all supervisors, foremen and the entire workforce. Poor housekeeping often results in unsafe conditions and also implies that the project is poorly managed and the work being done lacks professionalism. Many accidents and injuries charged to other causes are actually caused by unsafe conditions due to poor housekeeping.
A safe worker knows he can do his best work easier and more quickly if good housekeeping is maintained. Learning the habit of good housekeeping takes practice. The familiar expression ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’, will assist you in your efforts.
Materials left on the job should be stored in a central location and if at all possible stacked out of the way. When cleaning up be sure that all combustible materials are disposed of proper so as to curtail the possibility of fires. Tripping accidents can be reduced significantly by frequent clean-ups. Make it a habit to remove or bend over all nails protruding from scrap lumber to protect against puncture wounds. Sharp-edged and pointed tools should be stored in such a way as to prevent injuries.
Each member of the crew has a responsibility to insure good housekeeping in all phases of their work. It’s a lot easier to pick up as you work instead of waiting for the end of the shift. The importance of the relationship between an orderly job and a safe job cannot be overstressed.
We can have clean, well appearing, accident free jobs only if we really want them and insist at everyone cooperates. Good housekeeping requires constant effort and vigilance to make certain the job and equipment are kept in good condition. Are you doing your part?
Remember, good housekeeping promotes safety in the workplace, improves performance, protects you and the public, and just makes good sense.