Safety Tips Office Safety Tips Office safety

Make office housekeeping a priority

Reprints
iStock_000064008761_Large.jpg
Photo: AndreyPopov/iStockphoto

Look around the office. Are hallways and aisles clear of boxes and clutter? Are spills cleaned up immediately? Are paper products properly and regularly disposed of to reduce “fuel” in the event of a fire?

If you’re answering “no” to these questions, your office housekeeping habits might need some work.

“Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally,” states the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

What’s the big deal?

So your office is a bit untidy, but is that really so bad? Yes, according to CCOHS. Poor housekeeping can result in workers tripping over objects, being struck by falling items, slipping on surfaces, and striking objects that aren’t properly placed.

Tips

CCOHS stresses that “housekeeping order is ‘maintained,’ not ‘achieved,’” and cleaning and organizing need to happen regularly. Be sure workers know that good housekeeping involves speaking up and reporting unsafe conditions. Additional housekeeping tips:

  • Don’t block or obstruct aisles, stairs, exits, fire extinguishers and sprinklers, or first aid stations.
  • Pay attention to floors. If they’re worn or cracked, replace them. Consider installing anti-slip flooring and mats in busy areas that can’t be cleaned continuously, such as entryways.
  • Keep employee facilities clean and well-maintained, and provide an adequate supply of soap and paper towels in restrooms.
  • Replace burned out bulbs, and keep light fixtures clean to ensure adequate light for workers.
  • Consider installing mirrors to help improve sight lines in “blind” corners.

Read more tips on good housekeeping. 

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)