We at Polycure understand how crucial it is to protect your employees and anyone else who enters your work site. Poor housekeeping and lack of building maintenance are the most common causes of workplace injuries. Hazards can lead to slips, trips and falls resulting in anything from minor to serious injuries, not to mention a costly exercise for the employer. There is so much information available online about how to to prevent these accidents. Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation. Periodic cleanups are costly and ineffective in reducing accidents. To help get you on the right track we have put together a starter guider referring to Safework NSW, Worksafe VIC and Worksafe QLD.
So how can you get started?
Create a good housekeeping program and stick to it!
A housekeeping program will plan and manage all areas of the business to reduce hazards, slips and trips, provide better hygienic conditions, reduce property damage, and improve productivity and more importantly improve workplace morale.
- Employee work stations and facilities
All work areas should be well maintained, clean and well lit. Work stations should be uncluttered and free of waste. If hazardous materials are used employers should provide appropriate safety equipment, special precaution showers, washing facilities and change rooms. Smoking, eating or drinking in the workplace area should be prohibited where toxic materials are handled.
- Aisles and Stairways
Keep aisles and stairways clear. Do NOT “overflow” or “bottleneck” aisles or stairways for storage purposes. A wide enough aisle for emergency exists and movements should be available to accommodate all people, products, material and vehicles safely. (Refer to Safe Work Australia for more information).
- Property Maintenance
This includes building, equipment and machinery. Report and repair damage immediately.
Floors: Should be kept clean and maintained. Any spills should be immediately contained and cleaned. If floors are marked, ensure they are visible and not obstructed.
Walls: Light coloured walls will reflect light easier than dark coloured walls, mark pillars and painted handrails can highlight surfaces making them more visible to employees. Ensure appropriate signage is clear and visible.
Assign a place for everything. This will mean sorting and removing any unnecessary items. Ensure all employees know where everything is and return all items to where they belong. Establish rules and specify who is responsible.
Appropriate footwear should be worn by all employees within the workplace. Depending on the types of chemicals, objects, oils etc. the employee will be exposed to will determine the type of footwear required to be worn at all times.
Remember a housekeeping program is continuously maintained. Cleaning, organising and reviewing a housekeeping program must be done regularly, not just at the end of the shift. A good housekeeping program will ensure all employees are safe and reduce the risk of accidents on site.
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