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Elements of an Effective Workplace Housekeeping

Workplace housekeeping isn’t just about cleanliness; it’s also about controlling or eliminating potential hazards. Poor housekeeping can lead to various incidents, such as trips and slips, struck-by injuries and cuts or other skin punctures. To avoid these injuries and mitigate safety risks on-site, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) recommends that employers put effective housekeeping practices in place.

When assessing your company’s housekeeping practices, consider the following elements:

  • Keep up with maintenance. One of the most important aspects of housekeeping is general maintenance. This involves keeping buildings, equipment, and machinery in safe, efficient working order and in good repair. An effective maintenance program includes frequent inspections, upkeep and repairs for tools, equipment, and machines.

  • Clean frequently. Cleanliness is also an important element of housekeeping. This includes cleaning exhaust ventilation systems, vacuuming areas that collect light dust and dirt, mopping and sweeping floors, and wiping down ledges, walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.

  • Maintain employee facilities. Employee break rooms, locker rooms, bathrooms and dining areas should also be frequently cleaned and maintained.

  • Keep light sources unobstructed. Clean, dust-free light fixtures improve lighting efficiency and can help ensure work areas provide sufficient visibility.

  • Clear aisles and stairways. Aisles and stairways should be always clear of clutter and debris so that people can move comfortably and safely.

  • Label and store all materials. Equipment and materials should be properly stored, labelled, and placed in locations that do not block any pathways. They should also be easily accessible whenever they are needed.

Poor housekeeping practices can result in serious injuries. Yet, these injuries are largely preventable by maintaining a clean and organized workplace.

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