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Toolbox: Housekeeping, keeping your area clean

In all Businesses there are serious reasons for not trying to function in a messy environment. Here some examples:


  • Incidents resulting from a trip or fall
  • Incidents after being struck by an out-of-place object
  • Fires caused by improper storage or disposal of combustible materials
  • Reduced productivity because of time spent getting around or over someone else’s clutter and looking for proper tools and materials
  • Equipment damage due to equipment/tool buried into the snow

It is not a guarantee that all clean workplaces are safe, but it is safe to say no messy workplaces are safe. Good housekeeping doesn’t just happen. It requires effort and teamwork.

Checklists are a big help in measuring how well housekeeping standards are being met.

Good housekeeping can be a real morale booster. It should be encouraged as a way of life – not just a special activity when visitors are coming.

Here are some recommended housekeeping practices:

  • Keep work areas clean, free of clutter and arranged properly.
  • Keep aisles, exits and entrances free of obstructions.
  • Keep floors clean, dry and in good condition.
  • Store all work materials in approved, clearly-labeled containers in designated storage areas only.
  • Use proper waste containers.
  • Keep sprinklers, fire alarms and fire extinguishers clear.
  • Clean up spills and leaks of any type quickly and properly.
  • Clean and store tools and equipment properly.
  • Follow maintenance requirements.


  • What hazards exist when your workplace is cluttered?
  • Who is responsible for cleaning up?
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