4 Tips To Make Housekeeping Safer

When you’re cleaning around the house, you still have to be careful in order to avoid injuries. According to OSHA, effective housekeeping entails keeping a workspace orderly, easy to navigate, and free of hazards. People who live in a safe environment are happier, have greater confidence, and are more productive. Some simple pointers are as follows.

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Hotels and motels employ over 1.8 million people in the US hospitality industry. Hotel workers in the United States are about 40% more likely than all other service industry workers to be injured on the job. When compared to other employees in the hospitality business, hotel workers suffer more serious injuries, resulting in more days off work, job transfers, and medically limited work. In the United States in 2020, over 25% of hotel workers are employed as housekeepers and there was around 795,590 maids and housekeeping cleaners.

number of housekeepers in the US 2013-2020

The numbers of housekeeper’s injuries that have been recorded from 2004 to 2008 are listed below with 2005 being the highest year with 31 injuries from the housekeeping department.

Housekeepers Number of injuries

This is why there is a great need of knowing the housekeeping safety tips so as to become safe at our workplaces.

1- Prevent items from collapsing

To avoid a tip-over, close file cabinet drawers while not in service and open one file cabinet drawer at a time. Also keep bulky artifacts low to the floor and away from walkways.

2- Manage storage carefully

Tools, supplies, and components should be carefully stored to avoid slipping or exposing sharp edges. Also, it is imperative that you get rid of the clutter and that you clean up the chairs or workspaces.

After utilizing equipment and other resources, transfer them to storage and get rid of any products that are no longer used.

3- Maintain a cleared, safe, and unencumbered access to all premises

Clear junk from aisles, stairwells, fire escapes, and doors and ensure that all cables are securely fastened and sealed. To avoid leaks, make sure all cups, bottles, and containers have lids. But in case of spillage and leakage, it should be recorded and cleaned up.

Keep things out of the hallways and entrances and to assist with weak spots, you should consider adding mirrors and alert indicators. Flooring that is worn, torn, or broken should be replaced and any slippery substances such as ice, snow, grease, and oil from walking paths and worktops should be removed.

4- Fire hazards must be identified and eliminated

Keep highly flammable products in the workspace only in the quantities required for the job. Stock combustible, quick-burning products in specified areas away from combustion sources, also you must avoid getting flammable chemicals on your clothing. Maintain clear alleyways and fire exits to ensure proper evacuation in case of needs and electric power dangers should be identified, and work instructions should be given to correct them.

How Can You Improve Housekeeping Safety Standards?

  • Clean and safe Walking and Working Surfaces

Instill healthy housekeeping practices by following proper guidelines for walking and working surfaces. Housekeeping activities clearly have a bearing on fulfilling general standards for walking and work surfaces.

According to the regulation, housekeeping must be tidy, neat, and sanitary. The floors must be clean and safe.

Hallways and passageways should provide enough clearance. They must be held free of all blockages that might pose a threat. Permanent aisles should be established.

Obstructed aisles, debris lying around an aisle or on the surface, damp or oily boards, or content overhanging high shelves are also forms of breaches of these guidelines.

  • Emergency Exits must be cleared and accessible by all

Stress the importance of proper housekeeping in assisting citizens to leave the building in the event of an emergency. It is quicker and better for all to leave in an emergency if evacuation routes follow proper guidelines.

The escape route is an ongoing and unimpeded path of exit travel from any spot within a work environment to a safe location, such as refuge areas. An escape route is divided into three parts.

Exit pathways must be free from obstruction and unrestricted. There should be no items or machinery installed, either permanently or momentarily, along the escape path. At all times, an escape path must be at least 28 inches wide.

Storing products in such a way that they obstruct an escape path is a clear breach of these housekeeping standards.

  • Protection against Fire Hazards

Talk about how adequate chemical handling increases fire protection. The handling of hazardous substances must adhere to proper regulations.

Highly flammable fluids must be stored in sealed containers; OSHA restricts the amount of hazardous substances that may be stored outside of safe storage; internal storage rooms must have allowed self-closing fire doors; and containers larger than 30 gallons cannot be packed.

Open containers containing flammable chemicals, forcing open a fire door, piling drums in a storage space, or placing supplies in the storage room’s corridor are all examples of breaches.

  • Understanding Fire Safety

Explain how bad housekeeping may have an effect on fire safety systems. Any housekeeping requirements are included in the specifications for portable fire extinguishers and automated sprinkler systems.

Fire extinguishers must be assembled, located, and labeled in order to be easily available. Even while in service, fire extinguishers must be placed in their assigned locations at all times, and there must be at least 18 inches of space underneath sprinklers.

Abandoning carts, cartons, or other items in front of fire extinguishers, for example, or piling materials too close to sprinklers, are examples of breaches.

  • Electrical Safety

Emphasize how electrical protection is dependent on good housekeeping. The following are general standards for electrical systems.

Working room behind live components must be at least three feet for voltages of 600 or less, workspace in front of electric machinery running at 600 volts or less must be at least 30 inches high, and workspace should not be used for storage.

A housekeeping breach will be storing objects in such a way that they obstruct access to an electrical panel.

What is the Importance of Housekeeping in the Workplace?

Good housekeeping may assist in the control or elimination of occupational hazards. Problems are often caused by ineffective housekeeping habits.

If the presence of material, litter, waste, and leaks is known as ordinary, other, more severe dangers can be overlooked. Housekeeping entails more than mere cleaning.

Housekeeping in the workplace entails keeping workspaces nice and organized, keeping corridors and surfaces clear of slipping and falling risks. It also includes clearing discarded products from working environments such as paper, plastic, and other hazardous materials.

It often necessitates paying close attention to aspects such as the overall configuration of the office, aisle numbering, the appropriateness of storage sites, and repairs. Effective housekeeping is also a fundamental component of accident and fire protection.

Good housekeeping is a continuous process. It is a serious cleaning job and should be treated as such. Recurrent emergency cleanups are both expensive and inefficient in terms of incident reduction.

Features of an Effective Housekeeping System

A successful and effective housekeeping system organizes and handles the preparation and transfer of products from the entry point to the point of exit. It requires a content flow schedule to guarantee that there is as little processing as possible.

The proposal also ensures that employees cannot use work spaces as storage rooms by helping them transport items to and from working environments as required. Investing in additional containers and disposing of trash more often might be part of the program.

The risks of this initiative may be reduced by avoiding repetitive processing of the same content and making better usage of workers’ time. Inadequate or inefficient storage preparation also results in goods being treated several times and placed in unsafe ways.

Understanding the architecture of the office and the flow of materials across it would aid in the preparation of job procedures. Employee education is an integral component of every successful housekeeping system.

Workers must be able to interact effectively with the materials they use. They must also understand how to safeguard other employees, such as by displaying warning signals, such as whether the floor is wet, and disclosing any exceptional circumstances.

Housekeeping is dependent on maintenance.  Cleaning and organizing must be accomplished on a daily basis, not only at the end of each shift.

Incorporating housekeeping into work will assist with ensuring that everything is achieved. A successful housekeeping system defines and outlines tasks for shift cleaning, day-to-day sanitation, disposal of waste, recycling of unused items, and monitoring to ensure housecleaning is effective.

Don’t overlook areas that are easy to disregard, such as cabinets, basements, warehouses, and boiler rooms. Inspection is the last phase of every housekeeping system. This is the only way to identify process flaws and make necessary improvements.

What Makes Housekeeping Effective?

  • Repair and Upkeep

Building and machinery management may be the most critical aspect of successful housekeeping. Buildings, appliances, and machinery must be kept in clean, reliable working condition and in reasonable shape. It entails providing sanitary conditions as well as painting and washing walls on a daily basis.

Smashed glass, faulty doors, damaged pipes, and uneven floor surfaces may give the impression that a workplace has been largely ignored; these problems may trigger accidents and have an impact on work procedures. As a result, it is important to substitute or repair broken or faulty objects as soon as possible.

A successful maintenance plan includes instruments, machinery, computers, and systems that are inspected, maintained, cleaned, and repaired.

  • Removal of Contaminants

Dust, debris, and particles cannot be collected properly by enclosures and external air filtration. Vacuum machines are useful for collecting surface dust and debris that is not harmful.

Custom fittings on industrial models allow for sanitation of walls, floors, crevices, equipment, as well as other hard-to-reach areas where dust particles can collect. Hazardous materials may be removed with the aid of specialized vacuums.

Vacuum cleaners equipped with high performance particle size air filters, for instance, can be used to trap small asbestos or fiberglass fragments. Dampening or wetting surfaces, as well as utilizing sweeping substances when cleaning, minimize the volume of airborne dust.

Hand cleaning can be needed for dust and grime that accumulates in areas such as racks, plumbing, conduits, light fittings, reflectors, mirrors, kitchen cabinets, and locker rooms. Compressed air must not be used to clean machines or work areas with ashes, debris, or chips.

  • Staff Conveniences

Employees need appropriate, safe, and well-maintained services. Personal property of employees can necessitate the use of lockers.

After every changing shift, restrooms must be cleaned once or more. They must also provide a sufficient stock of soap, sheets, and, if necessary, disinfectants.

Employee workplaces can have extra measures such as toilets, laundry facilities, and changing rooms while employees are utilizing dangerous materials. Any facilities can necessitate two locker rooms separated by showers.

Using certain double locker rooms helps employees to hose off office toxins whilst still reducing the possibility of infecting their everyday clothes by having their work uniform apart from their domestic attire.

Where dangerous goods are handled, cigarettes, drinking, and eating must be forbidden. The dining area should be kept apart from the job area and thoroughly washed at the end of each shift.

  • Clean Surfaces

Since inadequate surface conditions are a contributing cause of injuries, it is critical to clean up leaked oil as well as other substances as soon as possible. Allowing bits, scraps, and dust to collect may also lead to mishaps.

Preventing the buildup of chips, sawdust, and dirt by catching them before they hit the ground and sweeping them up on a daily basis.  Anti-slip floorboards can be used in places that cannot be swept constantly, such as entryways. Keeping floors in good condition often entails removing any worn, torn, or broken flooring that may trigger a tripping hazard.

Medium-colored walls reflect light, while dark-colored walls block it. Bright colors warn of potential threats and identify obstacles such as walls. Paint may be used to illustrate railings, guards, and other protective devices, but it should never be used in place of proper safety measures.

The plan should detail the color codes and requirements. Light fixtures that are dirty limit the amount of light that is accessible. Clean light fixtures will greatly increase lighting quality.

  • Cleared Staircases and Walkways

Hallways should be large enough to easily and securely handle pedestrians and cars. Aisle room encourages individuals, objects, and materials to travel about.

In tight corners, warning signals and mirrors may help increase visibility. Arranging aisles correctly allows drivers to use them instead of using paths around dangerous places.

It is essential to keep to keep aisles and stairwells open. They can not be seen as a partial overflow or congested storage. Ample lighting is often needed for stairwells and aisles.

  • Spill Prevention

The only approach to prevent spills is to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. One method is to repair and service machinery and appliances on a regular basis. Another option is to use drip pans and guards in areas where leaks are likely.

When accidents do arise, it is necessary to clean them up as soon as possible. Absorbent products may be used to clean up greasy, sticky, or other types of liquid spills. Absorbents that have been used must be disposed of correctly and securely.

  • Maintenance of Instruments and Appliances

Tool maintenance is critical, whether in the tool space, on the shelf, in the field, or on the table. To have an ordered structure, tools need appropriate fixtures with clearly defined positions.

Returning equipment immediately following usage eliminates the possibility of them being misplaced or destroyed. Workers can check, disinfect, and restore all equipment on a daily basis, and remove any broken or worn tools from use.

  • Disposal of Garbage

Scrap gathering, sorting, and processing on a daily basis all add to proper housekeeping activities. Which also allows for the separation of recyclable products from those that may be disposed of in landfills.

Allowing stuff to accumulate on the floor consumes time and resources because washing it up takes more time. Putting scrap bins near where garbage is produced promotes orderly waste management and facilitates collection.

Both waste receptacles, such as recyclable bottles, plastic, scrap metal, among others, should be specifically labeled.

  • Storing Material Properly

Effective material storage management is critical for addressing material storage issues, either immediate or permanent. If the extent of handling is decreased, there would be less strain accidents, particularly if less manual material handling is needed.

The storage facilities’ placement should not conflict with work, but they should also be easily accessible as needed. Stored materials can leave at least one meter, or approximately three feet, of clear room under sprinkler heads.

Trying to stack containers and drums on a solid basis and cross tying them when required reduces the possibility of travel. Aisles, ramps, entrances, rescue appliances, emergency antiseptic eye and mouthwash fountains, emergency toilets, and first aid facilities cannot be obstructed by stored materials. Both storage areas must be specifically labeled.

Highly combustible, inflammable, radioactive, and other dangerous materials should be contained in permitted containers in locations suitable for the dangers they face. Materials should be stored in accordance with all standards stated in fire codes and legislation of environmental and industrial health and safety authorities in your jurisdiction.

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