Housekeeping in the Workplace
Why Is Housekeeping Important?
“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” When it comes to housekeeping in the workplace, this phrase has never been so true. The negative impressions and implications of poor housekeeping can affect you and co-workers for a long time to come. Morale is lowered for most people who function daily in a messy, disorderly work environment, although they may not be aware of the cause. Keeping a clean house willimprove the overall appearance of your shop or work area, and it shows that you take pride in where and how you work.
Safety also comes into play. If your housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be employee injuries (minor or severe), citations by OSHA or other regulatory agencies. How can such a seemingly small issue have such serious consequences?
Here are some results of poor housekeeping practices:
- Injuries, when employees trip, fall, strike or are struck by out-of-place objects
- Fires due to improper storage and disposal of flammable or combustible materials and wastes
- Injuries from using improper tools because the correct tool can’t be found
- Time spent investigating and reporting accidents that could have been avoided
- Increased frequency of OSHA inspections due to the “first impression” of the compliance officer
General housekeeping tips to remember are:
- Plan the job. Make a list of the needed tools and materials. This will help to reduce the unnecessary clutter around your work area
- Develop a routine to keep your work area clean throughout the day. This will minimize the amount of time needed to clean a “larger mess” at the end of the day/week
- Clean up after yourself. Pick up your trash and debris and dispose of it properly so it will not pose a hazard to others
- Dispose of combustibles and flammables properly. If improperly discarded, they will increase the potential for a fire
- Stow tools, materials and supplies in a responsible manner
Do you value the health and safety of yourself and coworkers, and your work reputation? If you do, please practice these general housekeeping guidelines.