The Essentials of Good Housekeeping
The notion “clean as you go” is preached as one of the safety principles that resonates well with good housekeeping practices. SHEQ section is worried that we do not live this notion nor practice this in our workplace. Our workplace has become synonymous with clutter of unused materials and equipment stored in unusual places; we need to practice good housekeeping in the workplace for our own safety.Effective housekeeping can help control or eliminate workplace hazards such as fires and breeding grounds for pests of public health importance. Good housekeeping not only results in a cleaner workplace but makes it safer as well as it reduces injuries and promotes positive behaviours, habits, and attitudes. An effective housekeeping program is an important element in workplace SHEQ management systems.Benefits of good housekeeping practices
- Fewer tripping and slipping incidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas
- Decreased fire hazards
- Lower worker exposures to hazardous products (e.g. dusts, vapours)
- Better control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies
- More efficient equipment clean-up and maintenance
- Better hygienic conditions leading to improved health
- More effective use of space
Disadvantages of Poor housekeeping practicesPoor housekeeping can be a cause of incidents, such as:
- Tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms
- Being hit by falling objects
- Slipping on greasy, wet or dirty surfaces
- Striking against projecting, poorly stacked items or misplaced material.
- Cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other parts of the body on projecting nails, wire or steel strapping
- An allergic reaction to a spilled chemical
- A fire as a result of oily rags left in an area where hot work is performed, or due to the accumulation of combustible dust and poorly kept paper.
- Illness due to the unsanitary conditions of restrooms
- Electrical shock as a result of poorly maintained equipment or energy sources, such as broken, cracked or damaged insulation and connections of wiring.