Safety Suggestion October 2018 - Good Housekeeping as a Safety Practice

Safety Suggestion October 2018 - Good Housekeeping as a Safety Practice

Good housekeeping goes beyond neatness and cleanliness. It can help prevent accidents. Most workplace slip, trip, and fall injuries are directly related to poor housekeeping. Debris, spills and clutter also cause other workplace injuries, such as “struck by” or “struck against.” Also, OSHA requires that “all places of employment…shall be kept clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition.”

Housekeeping includes keeping all work areas orderly, maintaining walkways and floors free of obstructions and eliminating slip and trip hazards. For example, employees can be struck by poorly stacked items or trip on a box left in a hallway.

Good housekeeping practices can also help prevent fires. Regular removal of excess materials, such as paper, cardboard boxes, chemicals, and other flammables should be a routine housekeeping safety practice. Keeping walkways, stairways, and exit doors free of obstacles help employees evacuate the workplace quickly and safely in the event of an emergency – this is another OSHA requirement.


  • Every employee takes responsibility for workplace housekeeping.
  • Work locations should be kept clean, free of clutter and appropriately arranged.
  • Spills and leaks of any variety are cleaned up quickly and appropriately.
  • Floors are clean, dry, and in good condition.
  • Aisles, exits, and entrances and are free of obstructions.
  • Ensure adequate lighting throughout the location.
  • Materials are organized and stacked appropriately so they cannot topple onto anyone.
  • The need for repairs is reported to facilities by completing work orders as appropriate.
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