The manufacturing environment is often a busy and hectic one with high potential for injuries or accidents to occur.
Good housekeeping habits can help reduce these hazards. Housekeeping is also an essential part of any effective safety program and a safe workplace can reduce the risk of injuries, which not only put employees in danger but also can affect your workers’ comp premiums as well as force you to incur other costs.
Depending on the type and scope of work, it is important that you have staff to perform housekeeping duties such as picking up trash and cleaning work areas as often as is required to reduce and eliminate safety hazards.
In manufacturing and warehouse facilities, it’s imperative that you keep floors, walkways and other high-traffic areas uncluttered and clear of hazards.
Every year, about 17% of all workplace fatalities are the result of slips, trips and falls. Many of these occur due to tools, hoses, cords, trash, debris or slips on spilled liquids or fluids.
Part of housekeeping duties should include making sure the work areas are always kept free from tripping hazards and that any liquid or slippery surface is cleaned and dried immediately.
Cleaning items such as mops, buckets, brooms and dustpans should be easily accessible and stored in different areas, close to the workspace.
When mopping to clean a floor, make sure to use a “wet floor” sign to warn others that the surface could be slippery. Respecting “wet floor” signs along with immediately cleaning up spills helps prevent slip and fall injuries.
Trash and debris
Your staff should also understand the importance of picking up trash and debris that often accumulates throughout the workday. Trashcans and trash bins should be kept in easy-to-reach locations and should be placed near brooms and dustpans.
Here are some tips:
- Sweep smaller debris such as broken glass, nails and other trash into a dustpan, before placing it into the trashcan.
- If sharp objects such as nails, broken glass or metal fall onto the floor, use leather gloves in addition to using the dustpan and broom to dispose of the trash.
- Trashcans should be emptied into dumpsters frequently so that they do not become too heavy
Other useful housekeeping practices include:
- Keeping tools and equipment clean and properly stored when not in use.
- Wrapping up and storing hoses, cables and wires when not in use.
Be aware of open cabinet drawers, electric wires, sharp corners or protruding nails. Correct any such unsafe conditions immediately, but only if it is safe to do so. If the situation is too dangerous to correct, your workers should be instructed to notify their supervisor or the person responsible for overall facility maintenance.
The workplace appearance makes an impression on employees and visitors alike. Good facility housekeeping will help reduce workplace accidents, lower insurance costs, improve employee morale – and ultimately increase business profits.
When a workplace is neat and clean, everyone will feel better as they complete their daily work and production quality is improved.