This week’s Safetip is about creating a workplace housekeeping checklist for use during inspections.
Why is Workplace Housekeeping Important?
Some people see the words “workplace housekeeping” and think it’s about keeping a workplace clean and tidy. But workplace housekeeping goes well beyond cleanliness. It can also help to eliminate or reduce hazards.
Some elements of good workplace housekeeping include:
- Maintaining clean and neat work areas.
- Keeping surfaces clean and dry to prevent slipping.
- Removing items from aisles and floors that can create slip and trip hazards.
- Storing materials in the appropriate containers, especially flammable, combustible or toxic materials.
- Removing waste, including paper, debris and cardboard, that can create fire hazards.
Workplace housekeeping should be performed on an ongoing basis. It’s not meant to be an occasional cleanup.
Conduct Inspections to Verify Workplace Housekeeping
Perform regular inspections to make sure that your work sites are following proper workplace housekeeping practices. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) has a checklist for workplace housekeeping that can be used to create a checklist for your inspections. Here are some items that can be included on your inspection checklist and that are derived from CCOHS’s list:
- Are all exits, stairs and aisles clear of obstructions to allow easy evacuation?
- Are fire extinguishers and sprinklers clear of material?
- Is the workplace free of accumulated combustible materials and waste?
- Are hazardous materials disposed of in approved, marked containers?
- Is all trash and scrap placed in proper containers?
- Is equipment “locked out” before being cleaned?
- Are equipment and materials stored in their assigned locations?
- Are air vents and filters clean to maintain ventilation efficiency?
- Are spills cleaned up promptly according to procedures, using personal protective equipment where necessary?
- Are boxes, drums, and piles located on a firm foundation and properly stacked?
- Are tools and unused materials cleaned up after finishing a job or before leaving a job site?
- Are hazards such as uneven boards, cracks, and burnt-out lights reported and fixed immediately?
- Are empty containers and pallets placed in designated locations?
- Are hoses and cables bundled when not in use?
Make use of inspection management software to create, review, maintain and update checklists. Checklists are configurable in the software application to easily add or remove items, and you can also pick and choose items to add them quickly to the checklist. Also, use a mobile inspection app to empower workers to complete inspections from anywhere and at any time, even while working offline.
Visit Enablon Insights again next Wednesday for a new Safetip!
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