Hazard-free housekeeping is needed in work areas

| August 21, 2015 | 0 Comments
Basic housekeeping is a fundamental way to reduce work accidents. (Image courtesy of Army News Service)

Basic housekeeping is a fundamental way to reduce work accidents. (Image courtesy of Army News Service)

Army News Service, News Release

It doesn’t take much for a fire to start or for an accident to happen in an untidy work space.

A few oily rags jumbled together and dumped on the floor, or a few boxes stacked carelessly in an aisle are set-ups for disaster.

Keeping work areas clean and tidy helps avoid job site accidents, including falls, fires, cuts and chemical exposures.

Hazard-safety tips

Follow these tips for safe job site housekeeping:

  • Keep all materials and equipment in their proper storage places when they are not in use.
  • Do not keep tools and equipment around if they are not needed. Return unnecessary tools to the tool crib and materials to central storage areas.
  • Store tools safely to prevent injury. Blades should be covered. Do not leave tools where they could fall off a bench.
  • Keep traffic areas, such as aisles, clear and free of stored materials and scrap.
  • Make sure entryways and traffic lanes are dry and free of ice, water and grease.
  • Take A STAND! logo

    Take A STAND! logo

    Do not allow obstacles, such as cables and hoses, to cross traffic areas. These create unnecessary tripping hazards.

  • Keep emergency equipment in good condition and free of obstacles. Do not allow anything to block access to emergency exits, fire extinguishers, fire hoses, fire sprinklers, safety showers, eye washes or first aid equipment.
  • Maintain electrical equipment. Keep cords untangled and away from heat and moisture. Whenever possible, have permanent wiring installed instead of using extension cords.
  • Close drawers and cabinet doors promptly. Many serious accidents have occurred when someone tripped over an open drawer or slammed into an open storage cupboard door.
  • Clean up spills immediately. Know what to do in case of a chemical spill.
  • Keep chemicals in properly labeled containers and keep them closed when not in use.
  • Keep only the amount of chemical required in work areas.
  • Know where to find the Material Safety Data Sheet for any chemical used.
  • Make sure ventilation is adequate.
  • Keep trash and scrap cleaned up and thrown away. Oily rags must be disposed of in approved covered containers.
  • Empty trash and scrap containers frequently.
  • Keep machinery free of accumulated dust, scrap or oil.
  • Repair or report any hazards, such as loose tile or carpeting, loose stairs and holes in the floor.
  • Keep windows and light fixtures clean to improve lighting. Replace burned out light fixtures promptly.
  • Watch for surfaces with splinters and have them sanded down.
  • Never store heavy objects out of sight in an overhead location.
  • Confine eating and drinking to the lunch area. Smoke only in designated areas.
  • Keep walls and work surfaces free of excess paper. Have a system for posting and dealing with phone messages. Keep addresses and other notes in a simple filing system to keep them off work surfaces.

Housekeeping is everyone’s job, and working together will not only ensure a clean work space, it will also help to ensure a safe one.

The old saying about “a place for everything and everything in its place” sums up job site housekeeping.

(Note: Story is from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center.)

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Category: Army News Service, Community, Safety, Take a Stand!

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