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Good Housekeeping Tips

Good housekeeping is a key part to avoiding workplace risk, especially when it comes to slips, trips and falls.

By housekeeping we don’t just mean the feather duster and polish. In the workplace, many hazards can be associated with poor housekeeping standards which could be easily controlled. Did you know that slips, trips and falls accounted for 31% of all reported non fatal accidents between 2017/18 (you can find this and more in the HSE Statistics here).

Good housekeeping helps protect the business, keep your employees and visitors safe whilst also giving people the right impression about your business (let’s be honest, we have all been into a business where the standards have been a little questionable!). 

Here we are going to look at a few basic areas to focus on to ensure that you are hitting the right mark for housekeeping –

Clear those floors and walkways

Keep an eye on the floors and walkways (but not too close as we still want you to watch where you are going) and encourage your workforce to do the same to check that they are clear and in good condition. Where you find that items (such as materials, equipment etc.) have been left in a place where they could cause a hazard, take the moment to move them to a safe place.

When you look at the floor surface, make sure it doesn’t pose hazards such as raised floor tiles or damaged carpet. Use anti-slip floor coverings in areas where there is a risk of a person slipping due to having wet feet (such as in door ways) and use signs to highlight where a floor may be wet.

Keep good control of your cables and leads to prevent trips and consider the lighting. Is there enough lighting for people to be able to see and navigate walkways safely?

Keeping on top of dust

Depending on your working activities there may be a potential that you create dust, such as from wood working or stone cutting. Dusts can cause not only housekeeping hazards, but also pose serious risk to a persons health.

Dust controls are covered in many parts of legislation and there are many products on the market to control dust release, including Local Exhaust Ventilation Systems (LEVs) and damping kits. If you undertake activities that involve generating dusts then it is always advisable to seek advice to make sure that you are controlling it correctly.

Control any spills

Spills can occur in any workplace, from a machine leaking oil to a member of staff having a mishap with a cup of coffee so it’s important to get into the routine of cleaning any spills up immediately.

Some spills, such as that coffee we mentioned will be quick and easy to clean, however you should find out just what it is that you are cleaning up because if the substance is hazardous then you should check the COSHH assessment for advice as there may be specific controls that you need to follow to safely clean and dispose of the substance. 

There are plenty of options on the market that can help with different kinds of spills, including absorbent material spill kits. If in doubt, segregate the area and ask for help. Having an effective maintenance schedule for plant and equipment can also help to prevent leaks and spills from occurring in the first place.

Putting things away

So simple, yet so often overlooked. Safe storage of equipment and materials helps keep your walkways and fire routes clear of clutter. Take the time to make sure though that you have a home for everything in the business that your workforce are aware of. It is difficult to maintain a level of good housekeeping if there isn’t a place for things to go.

For example, look at how you will store –

  • Tools and equipment
  • Chemicals and substances
  • Deliveries
  • Materials
  • Employee items (for example do you need to provide lockers for PPE?)
When you know what goes where, make sure your team are aware so they can keep everything where it is supposed to be.

A load of old rubbish

Waste build up can cause housekeeping hazards as well as posing fire risks. Think about what types of waste you produce, how much and how you are getting rid of it.

Areas to consider can be –

  • What waste are you generating as a business
  • What types of waste receptacles do you need and how many of each
  • Can employees and visitors easily recognise waste disposal areas
  • How often do you need waste collecting to prevent a build up
  • Is any of your waste classed as hazardous and require special disposal measures

Keeping that welfare spick and span

Last, but certainly not least, keep on top of welfare. Nobody wants to go to the toilet to be met by a monster of a bowl staring back at them.

Kitchens, toilets, rest areas and coffee rooms are all commonly used and tend to be a quick build up for waste and unhygienic conditions.

Put in a cleaning schedule to make sure these areas get attention regularly and adopt a cleaning regime for staff, such as a clean as you go, so there is no arguments on who left the plate in the sink.

If you need some additional help with Health and Safety or want to talk about housekeeping requirements, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Orchard Compliance Solutions team on 0800 118 1674 or You can find more information on our range of services here.

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