An office is generally regarded as a safe working environment, however, during busy times, some working areas can quickly become a cluttered mess!
Files and supplies can pile up or be left in dangerous locations leaving the workplace looking more like an obstacle course, as walking from one area to another would mean navigating through a mess of obstructions.
Such issues are not only aggravating and counterproductive; but also very dangerous.
Slips, trips and falls are a common cause of injury in the workplace, and inadequate housekeeping is a significant factor in most of these accidents, leading to costly Employers Liability claims under your Office Insurance policy.
What is Housekeeping?
Avoiding dangerous conditions like those described above requires a commitment to housekeeping by every individual in your team. This means making spill clean-up, rubbish removal, general cleaning and good methods of organisation a priority every day and throughout the day.
Good office housekeeping also means constant vigilance. Remove any object or material that obstructs a pathway on the floor and take care of other materials that could pose a possible fire hazard or danger for co-workers. This includes:
- Power cables or phone charging leads
- Empty containers
- Food waste, containers or lunch boxes
- Water or spills
Best Practice Tips
Follow these housekeeping tips to keep yourself and your co-workers safe:
- Never obstruct pathways with power or phone cables, as they could pose a tripping hazard.
- Store personal items out of the way in your desk – never on the floor or better still adopt a clear desk policy.
- Place ‘wet floor’ signs in areas that could present a slipping hazard, and remove them when the area is dry.
- Always keep pathways free of clutter and obstructions.
Things to Avoid
When practising good housekeeping, there are several things you should avoid:
- Do not leave clean-up for the last few minutes of the day; instead, take care of clutter immediately after completing a task.
- Never pile material around fire extinguishers, sprinklers or emergency exits.
- Take extra care with portable heating devices, checking operating instructions carefully and place away from walkways.
Clear Desks Equal Clear Minds!
Not only does housekeeping keep everyone safe and avoid Office Insurance claims, but it also helps people feel better about our jobs which reduces stress levels and improves productivity.
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