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General Orientation

Rev. November 10, 2020

Housekeeping and Hygiene

Effective housekeeping can help control or eliminate workplace hazards. Poor housekeeping practices frequently contribute to incidents. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious hazards may be taken for granted.

Housekeeping is not just cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly, maintaining halls and floors free of slip and trip hazards, and removing of waste materials (e.g., paper, cardboard) and other fire hazards from work areas. It also requires paying attention to important details such as the layout of the whole workplace, the adequacy of storage facilities, and maintenance.


Good housekeeping is also a basic part of incident and fire prevention.

Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a one-time or hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally.

Periodic "panic" cleanups are costly and ineffective in reducing incidents.

Housekeeping and Hygiene

(Document Web Link)

Good housekeeping is of primary importance in maintaining a safe workplace.  Many injuries occur because people trip, stumble, or fall over objects in the way of their travel path.

Leave your workplace how you would like to find it, neat and tidy.

Good Housekeeping can be maintained by,


  • Removing waste material and debris to a disposal area and reusable material to a storage area as often as necessary to prevent a hazardous condition arising and, in any event, at least once daily

  • Removing or protecting any protruding hazards that may endanger a worker

  • Using a gear rack in your workplace

  • Cleaning up spills immediately; Oil and grease create slipping hazards

  • Keeping walkways, doors, and access to equipment clear

  • Keeping cords and hoses coiled up and neatly placed in a safe area when not in use

  • Not throwing tools or materials from one level to another

  • Dispose of waste materials

  • Keep work areas and storage facilities clean, neat and orderly

  • Keep all aisles, stairways, passageways, exits and access ways free from obstructions at all times

  • Do not place supplies on top of lockers, hampers, boxes or other movable containers at a height where they are not visible from the floor

  • When piling material for storage, make sure the base is firm and level

  • When storing materials suspended from racks or hooks, secure them from falling and route walkways a safe distance from the surface beneath

  • When storing materials overhead, provide adequate toe boards to keep objects from rolling over the edge

  • Tools, equipment, machinery and work areas are to be maintained in a clean and safe manner

  • Return tools and equipment to proper storage areas when not in use

  • Layout extension cords, air hoses, water hoses, ladders, pipes, tools, etc. in such a way as to minimize tripping hazards or obstructions to traffic

  • Nail points, end of loop or tie wires, etc. must not be left exposed when packing and unpacking boxes, crates, barrels, etc.

  • Nails are to be removed as soon as lumber is disassembled

  • Store sharp or pointed articles to keep co-workers from coming into contact with the sharp edges or points

  • Dispose of all packing materials properly to reduce the chance of fires

  • Empty waste baskets daily into approved waste containers

  • Circuit breaker boxes and fuse boxes, should be kept closed at all times

  • Flammables and combustible materials, coats, rags and cleaning supplies should not be stored in mechanical rooms or near electrical boxes

  • Keep electrical equipment properly maintained and free of grease or dirt



Proper hygiene is crucial to protecting oneself from diseases.  Good hygiene can be maintained by,


  • Ensuring that you wash hands before eating

  • Keep work clothes separate from street clothes

  • Shake out all work clothes before storing

  • Ensuring that you have enough clean changes of clothes

  • Keeping lunch and restrooms clean, particularly counters and tables


Cleanliness promotes safety, which means that fewer accidents are likely to happen. 

It also helps in the prevention of fires.

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