Good Housekeeping Is Not Just A Magazine

By JoAnn Peterson

The word “housekeeping” often brings to mind housekeepers cleaning a hotel room or a magazine in a rack at the grocery store.  But in a workplace setting, good housekeeping can play an important role in a company’s safety program to help prevent injuries and improve employee productivity.  A clean workspace is a safer workspace.  It is both an individual and corporate effort that makes good housekeeping effective.  Each employee has a responsibility to keep his/her workspace clean and maintain it on a regular basis.  The company’s focus on good housekeeping as part of its daily routine goes a long way in modelling ongoing interest in employee wellbeing and facility cleanliness.

Being proactive in keeping floors clean and dry, free of debris, with appropriate flooring materials for particular manufacturing conditions goes a long way in preventing slips, trips and falls.  Work mats and non-slip flooring

Dust that accumulates and covers surfaces can be considered an explosion hazard. Vacuuming, sweeping and washing down with water are methods that help control dust in the workspace.

Products and materials are often stacked to create more space.  They should always be stacked straight to keep them from falling, away from walkways, with heavier objects on lower shelves.

The housekeeping tasks should be written form in order that the proper cleaning methods, tools and specific cleaners can be used and the frequency that the tasks need to be performed are recorded.  This will ensure that everyone knows what, when, where and how to complete each specific task.

 The most efficient way to keep a workspace tidy is to live the words of Benjamin Franklin, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”  Returning tools and other materials used to their proper places immediately after using them, emptying trash containers before they are full and always keeping aisles, stairways and emergency exits clear makes for a safe and productive work environment.

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