Friday 28 July 2023

Why is housekeeping so important in the workplace?

* Collaborative post

Housekeeping is often seen as something that should be done at home but that can be ignored in the workplace. That, however, is not the case. Workplace housekeeping is essential for a number of reasons, and good housekeeping practices can actually save lives by reducing slip and trip hazards, fire hazards and just generally tackling the majority of workplace hazards. If you're unsure why workplace housekeeping is essential, or what to include in your workplace housekeeping program, here's everything you need to know with tips from office cleaning specialists Cleanup Team.

Workplace housekeeping can eliminate workplace hazards

A lot of hazards around the workplace are caused by poor housekeeping. These can result in accidents and incidents that are incredibly costly, and can even cost people their health and their lives. By ensuring that your place of work is kept clean and orderly with good housekeeping program plans, you can prevent this.

Good housekeeping practices can prevent:

Fire hazards

Good housekeeping practices can prevent fire hazards by reducing the risk of a fire starting and preventing the fire from spreading.

If a workplace is kept clean and tidy, there is less of a chance of fuel (cardboard, paper, etc.) ending up near an ignition source (heater, radiator, computer, extension lead). As a result, fewer fires will start.

If a fire does start, good housekeeping will ensure that there are clear routes to fire equipment and emergency exits. This will help to prevent a major incident.

Exposure to hazardous materials

Within most workplaces, there will be some kinds of hazardous materials. Whether these are simple like dust, bleach, and first aid stations' bins, or whether they are more complicated in places like doctors' offices, it is important to reduce the amount of contact that is had with these materials.

If you're unsure whether your place of work has any hazardous substances, consider the cleaning cupboard, and remember that things like sanitary bins may count. Good housekeeping programs include maintaining sanitary facilities, which should be done regularly and by people who know where to put the waste materials.

By ensuring that the workplace has good housekeeping, business owners and managers can reduce the number of people who have to come into contact with these materials, ensuring that there is minimal handling. This will help to prevent any incidents and ensure that the only people who do handle the materials know what they're doing and can handle the materials correctly.

Slip and trip hazards

One of the most common causes of accidents at work are spills and trips. Slip and trip hazards are a much bigger deal than they may at first seem, and they need to be avoided. A bad slip or trip can cause some serious injuries, which can result in a workplace lawsuit.

To prevent slip and trip hazards, good housekeeping is essential. The program can ensure that employee facilities are clean and can ensure that any spill control is done.

Property damage

Since good housekeeping can reduce the risk of fire hazards and slips, it is also a great way to reduce the risk of property damage. There is less chance of a fire if a place is well looked after, reducing the chance of fire damage, and if housekeeping is maintained regularly, then aspects of the building that may otherwise go unnoticed somewhere with poor housekeeping practices will be regularly inspected. This allows staff and business owners to identify any issues with the property and implement preventive maintenance where needed.

Poor health

Keeping a building or workplace tidy and clean with adequate workplace housekeeping can even give members of staff improved health. Too many workplaces are laden with mould and mildew or dust from a lack of cleaning and a lack of care. Long-term exposure to these hazardous substances can lead to health conditions, meaning that more staff will require time away from work. This can then create a self-perpetuating cycle, wherein everyone is overworked due to chronic understaffing.

So what should be included in a good housekeeping program?

According to Shine Queens a good housekeeping program identifies what in the workplace is likely to be a risk and ensures that the building is kept tidy, clean and orderly to ensure that those risks do not arise. The majority of elements of a good housekeeping program are done by the staff themselves, and should not affect work practices. Other elements, like general maintenance and deep cleaning can be done by a housekeeping team who will diligently follow a housekeeping program.

But what should that program look like?

The basics

A good housekeeping program will need to ensure that all of the following points are covered. This is the best way to reduce workplace hazards and to keep the workplace well organised. The basic points that need covering are:

  • clean up throughout the day

  • waste disposal facilities

  • removal of unused materials and waste materials

  • inspection of housekeeping

  • clean up at the end of each day

What should be covered within a housekeeping program?

Within the day-to-day cleaning and the cleaning throughout the day, there are multiple elements that should be covered. They are:

  • General maintenance and preventative maintenance (maintenance involves keeping buildings in good condition to prevent any workplace hazards)

  • Monitoring of tools and materials (damaged or worn tools should be thrown away to prevent injury)

  • Control spills (prevent any spills from causing issues, endeavour to stop spills before they happen by using drip pans and guards and maintaining machines)

  • Keep walkways clear (aisles, stairways, and corridors should also be kept clear of debris and waste)

  • Orderly waste disposal (rubbish and other waste should be removed quickly to prevent spills, trips and bad odours)

  • Efficient storage facilities (storing employees personal belongings is important, but it needs to be done in a tidy way; orderly storage can help to reduce wait times in staff or locker rooms and can prevent things like damaged property and fire hazards).

A good housekeeping program also needs...

A good housekeeping program means nothing if it is not regularly inspected. Ensure that you regularly inspect your workplace housekeeping program to make sure that everything is being done to the highest standard.


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