Good housekeeping is the practice of maintaining a clean, clutter free working site. Good housekeeping not only benefits the overall look and perception of an event site or work place, but also acts as a control measure to mitigate against many common risks such as…
Slips, trips and falls
Maintaining a clean and tidy worksite is paramount to controlling the risk of slips trips and falls. All spillages should be cleaned up immediately, and wet floors sign posted to warn people about the risk of slipping. Walkways and work areas should be free from trip hazards, another common accident at work.
Risk of Fire
Build up of waste or materials of a flammable nature increases the risk of a fire in your workplace drastically. Fires can be started by hot sparks landing on waste that is not disposed of suitably, and can be spread by waste lying around also. Always be sure to have a waste compound dedicated to storing arisings, to reduce the risk of a fire in your workplace.
Untidy workplaces can be a place where unwanted animals and insects can thrive. Clutter and mess does not only gives pests food to survive on, but also hiding places and materials for nesting. Maintaining a tidy workspace will lessen the chances of an infestation occurring, therefor lessening the chances of any unwanted diseases being spread by pests.
Blocked Exit Routes
An important part of good housekeeping is ensuring emergency exit routes are clear, and free from trip hazards. Waste or materials allowed to accumulate in exit routes will cause trip hazards, and will hinder escape in the event of an emergency.
What to do?
- Write a cleaning rota
- Ensure waste is taken away from site and disposed of responsibly, regularly.
- Conduct spot checks on sites
- Ensure items needed for good housekeeping are readily available. Such as; bin bags, brooms, litter pickers, mops etc.
- Have a system where defects in work equipment/on site fixings can easily be reported and fixed.
- Provide sufficient storage for waste and materials
- Engage cleaning contractors to undertake regular cleaning
- Have sufficient stock of signage
Here’s a useful hazard spotting check list from the HSE.