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Mar 10 2017
11:06:00 AM

Safety Tip of the Week


Lack of proper housekeeping on the job is one safety hazard common to all construction projects until after final cleanup. Good housekeeping is one item that can help improve not only the safety on the job, but also the morale and productivity of the job.

Housekeeping is a very important part of your job. Not only does it improve the overall appearance of your shop or work area, it shows that you take pride in where you work.

The best way that you can help keep your work place clean is to pick up after yourself! Don't leave it for the next shift or another worker to worry about.
 
Safety is an even more critical issue. If your housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be employee injuries or even death. How can such a “minor” issue have such serious consequences?
 
Results of poor housekeeping practices:
  • Injuries, when employees trip, fall, strike or are struck by out-of-place objects;

  • Injuries from using improper tools because the correct tool can’t be found;

  • Lowered production because of the time spent maneuvering over and around someone else’s mess, and time spent looking for proper tools and materials;

  • Time spent investigating and reporting accidents that could have been avoided;

  • Fires due to improper storage and disposal of flammable or combustible materials and wastes;

  • Substandard quality of finished products because of production schedule delays, damaged or defective finishes, ill-equipped employees, etc.; and

  • Lack of future work due to a reputation for poor quality. 

General housekeeping rules to remember are:

  • Clean up after yourself. Pick up your trash and debris and dispose of it properly, or place it where it will not pose a hazard to others. Institute a routine cleaning schedule.

  • Keep your work area clean throughout the day. This will minimize the amount of time needed to clean a larger mess at the end of the day.

  • Dispose of combustibles and flammables properly. If improperly discarded, they will increase the potential for a fire.

  • Remove protruding nails and other sharp objects, or hammer them flat to prevent someone from stepping on them or snagging themselves.

  • Stack materials and supplies orderly and secure them so they won’t topple

Benefits of good housekeeping:

  • Encourages efficiency;

  • Utilizes space better;

  • Keeps inventory at a minimum;

  • Helps control property damage;

  • Provides a good appearance of your facility/worksite and impresses the customer;

  • Reflects a well-run organization;

  • Encourages better work habits;

  • Minimizes janitorial work; and

  • Makes jobs easier and working conditions more pleasant.

Summary:

The first and foremost results stemming from good housekeeping are safety and health, for both you and your co-workers.
 
Second, when good housekeeping becomes an ingrained habit and begins to happen naturally, the time and effort necessary to keep the workplace clean and safe is reduced.
 
Take responsibility for identifying and eliminating hazards. Every employee has a personal responsibility to: keep his or her own work area neat, clean, and safe. Keep aisles, passages, and stairways clear and uncluttered. Put tools and materials away in their assigned places when they’re not being used. Report anything that’s broken or not working properly immediately so it can be fixed.
 
Remember: A Clean Worksite = A Safer Worksite!!  
 
 

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