General Housekeeping

What is housekeeping in the context of occupational safety and health?

Housekeeping is a general term used to describe general measures to keep isles clear, shelves from being overloaded and a range of other things which cause occupational injury or illness. Examples include basic slip, trip and fall hazards, blocked emergency exits, obstructed exits, obstructed windows, improper storage of hazardous materials, accumulation of combustible dusts, etc.

What hazards are associated with lack of housekeeping?

1. Inability to exit a building during an emergency due to blocked exits, windows and doors
2. Strains, sprains and broken limbs from slip, trip, fall hazards
3. Cuts, abrasions, punctures from items protruding into walking or working surfaces
4. Inability to shut off power sources during emergency due to obstructed electrical panels
5. Inability to access fire extinguishers due to obstructed isles
6. Contact with hazardous materials which have spilled or leaked onto walking or working surfaces

What can you do to prevent incidents related to poor housekeeping?

1. Ensure that your work area is organized and free from hazards
2. Routinely inspect your work area visually to ensure new hazards have not appeared and correct hazards which do appear immediately
3. Immediately report any hazards which you cannot correct safety and quickly to your supervisor
4. Immediately report any leaks or spills that may contain hazardous chemicals or properties
5. Ensure that any accumulation of dust or by product from your work is safely disposed of at the end of each shift to prevent fire or explosion
6. Never block access to exits, entrances, windows, fire extinguishers, eye wash stations, first aid kits, electrical panels or other wall mounted equipment with moveable items

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