The importance of good "housekeeping" cannot be over-emphasized to protect you and your employees. The condition of your business is a reflection of efficiency and safety. Housekeeping is not limited to keeping the place clean; it is also concerned with keeping equipment and materials in good repair and in their proper place. Good housekeeping is essential to preventing losses or injuries.
Your family relies on you for a steady income. The best way to insure this is to keep your work area clean. Wages lost because of an accident is money lost forever. Every injury caused by housekeeping can be prevented if everyone helps to keep the work area clean.
Preventing accidents can be easy
Many accidents can be prevented through good housekeeping. Here are a few common ones:
- Tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms.
- Slipping on wet, greasy or dirty floors.
- Bumping against projecting or misplaced material.
- Puncturing or scratching hands or other body parts on protruding nails, hooks or rods.
- Injuries from falling objects.
- Many fires are started from oil or debris that has collected in corners or pits where it might go unnoticed. A spark or ash from a cigarette could start a fire, which might be difficult to detect.
- Mistaking the contents of an unmarked container of material.
Good housekeeping: no shortcuts
Unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts to good housekeeping. No one likes to work in a dirty, cluttered place, so everyone has to be responsible for keeping the surrounding areas neat and safe.
Here's a simple checklist to use:
- Are aisles clear and free from obstructions, loose flooring, etc.?
- Are stairs and ramps free from obstructions? Are handrails and stair treads in good repair?
- Do floors give good traction?
- Is there good personal housekeeping evident?
- Are there leakages, either from overhead or elsewhere that are causing hazards?
- If first aid materials are kept on hand, are they sanitary, fresh and in ample supply?
It is easier, safer and more efficient to prevent a mess than to clean it up after it happens.