Keeping a clean workspace — A clean workspace is especially important for warehouse workers who deal with heavy equipment, inventory, and materials. Keeping your work area orderly and clean at all times can lower the chance of accidents happening. When tools, equipment, and other objects are where they belong, you will find them when you need them quickly and easily. Cleanliness and safety go hand-in-hand!
Benefits of keeping a clean workspace
- Effective use of space comes from organizing inventory, equipment, and materials
- Better control of and access to tools and materials, aiding in monitoring inventory levels, sales, and replenishment.
- Potential hazards -falling items, tripping hazards, or spills- are avoided
- Opportunity to discuss safety rules and procedures, and how to act in case of an emergency.
- Fewer sick days since employees aren’t getting sick from dust, dirt, germs, etc., while on the job
- Employees feel safer on the job
- Improved productivity since distractions, stress, and clutter are reduced so that employees can focus on their tasks.
More benefits of a clean workspace
There are so many benefits to staying clean and organized, like fewer tripping and slipping incidents, decreased fire hazards, and lowered exposures to hazardous products, like dust and vapors, for example. When things are in the correct place, everyone has better control of tools and materials, including inventory and supplies, and you’ll have more efficient equipment cleanup and maintenance. In fact, improved preventive maintenance will reduce property damage.
Workers will have improved health due to better hygienic conditions, they’ll have better attitudes because they don’t feel sick all the time. Finally, there can be improved productivity because tools and materials are easy to find.
How can workers keep a clean workspace?
- Clean up during their shift
- Day-to-day cleanup
- Waste disposal
- Removal of unused materials
- Inspection to ensure that cleanup has been completed
- Do not forget out-of-the-way places such as shelves, basements, sheds, and boiler rooms that would otherwise be overlooked.
Other areas to watch:
- Surfaces – floors and walls
- Light fixtures
- Aisles and stairways
- Spill control – Avoid spills by using equipment properly.
- Tools and equipment – when kept clean and in working order, you can do your job properly
- Waste disposal – Pick up packing materials and other debris from the floor as you work. By the end of your shift, the workspace should be clean.
- Storage – Stored materials should not obstruct aisles, stairs, exits, fire equipment, emergency eyewash fountains, emergency showers, or first aid stations. All storage areas should be clearly marked.
- Flammable, combustible, toxic, and other hazardous materials should be stored in approved containers in designated areas that are appropriate for the different hazards that they pose.
Final thoughts on keeping a clean workspace
It’s easy to think that picking up loose material is someone else’s job, but it’s important that your shared spaces are clear of blockages and potential slip-and-fall, and other injury-related situations. If others aren’t doing their share of cleanup, speak with a supervisor about it, but always continue to do the right thing. Remember, it’s important to follow your workplace guidelines regarding cleaning and organizing the workspace. Learn more about warehousing from OSHA. Stay safe out there!
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