Good housekeeping contributes very greatly to the prevention of occupational injuries and diseases as it is an essential component of good working conditions. Housekeeping is a maintenance task and, therefore, everyone’s task. Good housekeeping cannot be achieved without the goodwill and participation of everyone in the workplace. Good housekeeping is essential to good safety practice.
Housekeeping includes keeping buildings, plants, machinery and equipment organised and properly maintained; the upkeep of all sanitary and welfare facilities; and the regular painting and cleaning of walls, ceilings and fixtures.
Good housekeeping also includes day-to-day cleanliness, tidiness and good order in all parts of the workplace. Day-to-day housekeeping will considerably cut down the amount of maintenance work required.
The results of poor housekeeping are
Methods of order and cleanliness
- Accidents such as falls on slippery or greasy floors, stumbling on passageways, cuts from protruding parts, failure of lifts, etc.
- Fires from wastes or disorderly storage (aside from being trapped by fire).
- Poor lighting due to missing lamps, dirty fixtures or darkened walls.
- Health risks from piled dust, unprotected contact with chemicals exposure to exhaust fumes, etc.
Good housekeeping cannot be left to spontaneous, unplanned activities. It needs planning. Therfore, it will only begin when management takes responsibility for it. The layout of sections and machines must be in such a way that it is easy for order and cleanliness to be achieved and maintained. Day-to-day cleaning cannot be left to the last few minutes of the working day. Therefore, planning is essential.
For good housekeeping
- Layout to facilitate order and cleanliness. C Marking of aisles, passageways, transport areas and exits. They must be cleared from obstacles.
- Special areas set aside for storage of raw materials, finished products, tools and accessories.
- Racks for hand tools or implements above work tables.
- Spaces for storage of small personal belongings.
- Receptacles for waste and debris in convenient locations.
- Screening and simple devices to prevent deposits of oil, liquid wastes or water on the surrounding floors.
- Drainage channels for waste water.
- Special groups of persons to carry out day-to-day cleaning and weekly or monthly cleaning.
- Arrangements to remove finished goods and wastes.
- Clear assignment of duties for maintenance and repair of work premises, in particular stairs, walk ways, walls, lights and sanitary facilities.
Needless to say, persons engaged in housekeeping must be protected from hazards Cleaning should never be carried out when there is any risk of entanglement in machines. Personal protective clothing or overalls and hand and foot protection are often necessary to prevent injuries and diseases such as cuts from scrap metal or dermatitis from detergents.
Every worker should be responsible for cleaning his or her own workplace. The supervisor should take the responsibility to organise good housekeeping. Appropriate equipment for daily cleaning, such as brushes, brooms, vacuum cleaners, etc. should be provided.