Housekeeping is crucial to safe workplaces. It can help prevent injuries and improve productivity and morale, as well as make a good first impression on visitors. But effective workplace housekeeping can also help an employer avoid potential fines for non-compliance. It is something that every worker should play a part in, regardless of environment and business type.
Eliminate fire hazards
In the UK there are 22,200 non-residential fires with a large proportion of these occurring within the workplace, therefore it is absolutely crucial for businesses to be compliant with fire legislation while being fully aware of the potential fire hazards in the workplace.
- Don’t overload power sockets
- Always test fire alarms
- Keep fire exits clear
- Maintain machinery and electrical Items
- Only Smoke in designated areas
Routinely inspect personal protective equipment
Most head, eye, hand, and foot injuries are the result of not wearing proper PPE. Regularly inspect, repair, and replace equipment to ensure workers can do their jobs safely and efficiently. Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, should be inspected before each use to ensure that it is in good condition. PPE should also be inspected periodically for wear and tear, and any damage should be repaired or replaced immediately.
There are many construction-related activities where dust is prevalent and where it needs to be controlled from demolition, brick cutting, the use of cement, wood and stone working, to name a few. Dust exposure must be risk-assessed under Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002. To comply, employers should:
- Identify the hazards
- Consider who might be exposed
- Assess the risk
- Introduce controls in line with the hierarchy of risk control
Prevent slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are the second leading cause of nonfatal occupational injuries or illnesses involving days off from work and are, at large, hugely preventable. Employers should consider the following:
- Prevent slips, trips and falls
- Report and clean up spills and leaks
- Keep aisles and exits clear of items
- Consider installing mirrors and warning signs to help with blind spots
- Replace worn, ripped or damaged flooring
- Eliminate slippery conditions, such as snow, ice, oil and grease, from walkways and working surfaces as necessary
Store materials properly
You must ensure chemicals and dangerous substances are stored and handled in a way that minimises their risks and limits people’s exposure to them. If you store chemicals or dangerous substances that could create a fire or explosion, you must ensure that flammable substances are correctly stored in suitable containers and are not stored near to a source of ignition such as a heater.
Effective housekeeping is crucial for workplace safety and efficiency. A clean environment reduces hazards and distractions, while clutter increases the likelihood of falls, spills and other dangerous incidents. For further tips and advice for effective workplace housekeeping, please contact us here.