Most of you probably have house cleaning responsibilities at home. For some, it’s a regular weekly chore. Whatever the case may be, you’ll agree that good housekeeping practices are important at home.
However, what we sometimes overlook is that good housekeeping is a key duty on the job, too. The orderly arrangement of work areas is vital to the safety of all workers, regardless of whether they are involved with machines, tools, appliances or furniture.
Approximately 6,000 people are killed on the job annually in the US, and 19,500 in home accidents.
17% of on-the-job deaths are caused by falls, many of which result from just plain poor housekeeping practices. That is 1,020 easily preventable deaths.
Falls often result from tripping over loose articles such as tools left in aisleways and work areas, wet spots on the floor, or trash and other articles left lying around.
During periods of rain and snow, tracked-in water is a serious problem. Wet spots cause slips and falls. They should be cleaned up immediately.
Trash receptacles are placed in strategic areas, so there is no excuse for waste paper, pop bottles, or other materials being thrown on the floor. Get in close & make a sure shot at that trash barrel. You miss, you pick it up!
Word of caution: If a bottle is broken on the floor, don’t pick up the glass with bare hands. Wear gloves or sweep up the pieces. The same applies to picking up nails or other sharp objects.
Let’s face it. It is just a lot easier to do your job when your work area is kept neat. Keep your tools and equipment off the floor and stored in an orderly manner in the proper places. It is unsafe to stack too high. This not only reduces tripping hazards, but protects the equipment you use & makes it easier to find it when you need it.
Always be defensive, look out for the moves of your colleagues. We need to always look out for danger signals: loose flooring, articles out of place, spills, any unsafe conditions. Take corrective actions when anything is out of place.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. When each of us keeps our area in order, the whole plant is a safer place to work.