What Makes a Good Housekeeping Program?
A good housekeeping program plans for proper storage and efficient movement of materials from point of entry to exit. It includes a material flow plan to reduce unnecessary handling, which also reduces injury risks. The plan should ensure work areas are not used for storage and that tools and materials are accessed as needed and returned after use. It could include investing in extra bins, shelving or more frequent disposal.
Poor Housekeeping Hazards
Consequences of poor housekeeping include:
- Tripping over loose objects
- Being hit by moving objects
- Slipping on greasy, wet or dirty surfaces
- Striking against projecting, poorly stacked items or misplaced material
- Cutting, puncturing or tearing skin on projecting objects
- Electrical or other fires
- Restricted egress in an emergency
Planning a Good Housekeeping Program
- Involve workers and safety committee members to understand the flow of work. Usually workers have great suggestions for workplace improvements.
- Consider your building footprint, plant layout and the movement of materials within the workplace.
- Have standardized policies and procedures that everyone understands and follows.
- Train workers how to work safely - and how to protect other workers.
- Integrate cleaning and organization into jobs, not just at the end of the shift.
- Identify and assign responsibilities for clean up during the shift, day-to-day cleanup, waste disposal, removal of unused materials and inspection to ensure cleanup is complete.
- Include supervision and inspection to allow any deficiencies in the program to be identified proactively.
Workplace housekeeping is a shared responsibility. Everyone in the workplace can play a part to keep each other safe.
- Read the full article.
- View a general housekeeping checklist form CCOHS.
- Visit the OSHA housekeeping Safety page.
- Browse housekeeping signs and labels.