3 Types of Poor Housekeeping Hazards Toolbox Talk

In this toolbox talk, learn about the common hazards caused by poor housekeeping on a construction site.

Poor Housekeeping Hazards Safety Talk

Housekeeping is not just for the home. Keeping a clean and tidy workplace is also important to promote safety and improve productivity.

To avoid unnecessary injuries or delays, all employees should practice good housekeeping at work. Everyone must do their part in keeping their work areas clean and clear of clutter.

This housekeeping hazards toolbox talk will cover common hazards caused by poor housekeeping on construction sites and provide tips for avoiding them.

Three types of hazards caused by poor housekeeping

The safety of employees is a main focus of every workplace. Any steps that can be taken to avoid unsafe conditions which can lead to injuries should be established as standard workday procedures.

Housekeeping has a big impact on keeping workplaces safe. Poor housekeeping exposes workers to several types of hazards, including:

1. Strain and sprain hazards

One of the most important housekeeping rules that all workers must follow is to keep items up and off the floor. Leaving tools, materials, and equipment out of place can lead to trips and falls.

If heavy items aren't stored properly in the workspace, it can also result in employees injuring themselves from trying to lift or move the heavy object out of the way. Poor housekeeping puts employees at greater risk of injuring themselves with a strain or sprain.

Don't cut corners when it comes to putting away tools and equipment. Items you use on the jobsite should always be picked up and put where they belong for the safety of all employees.

2. Laceration hazards

In the workplace in construction, there are many different types of objects that can cause lacerations. Whether you work on the jobsite, in a warehouse, or in a manufacturing setting, there are likely many objects around you that can cause laceration injuries.

Any and all sharp tools, sharp-edged material, or jagged material can cause harm, even through gloves or clothing. It is important to always be aware of your surroundings and always practice good housekeeping to avoid cuts.

Sharp objects can be found all over the workplace. Keeping the work area clean and always putting away sharp objects properly when finished using them will help to avoid accidental injuries.

3. Slip, trip, and fall hazards

Poor housekeeping in the work area can pose different types of slip, trip, and fall hazards due to spills. When there is poor housekeeping and spills are not cleaned up promptly, slips, trips, and falls become a big risk.

Employees can slip in a spill and fall, injuring themselves— sometimes severely. Any areas that become contaminated with moisture, water, grease, oil, or any other liquid should be immediately and fully cleared to avoid any injuries.

How To avoid unnecessary housekeeping injuries

With consistent effort, injuries sustained due to poor housekeeping can be avoided. Risks are significantly reduced if employees take responsibility for their surroundings and exercise caution.

Each employee should take charge of their own workspace, pay attention to the three main types of hazards, and complete necessary cleaning tasks to avoid them. Good housekeeping is not only for the safety of yourself but for the fellow coworkers as well.

Examples of poor housekeeping

Employees that are not practicing good housekeeping techniques on the jobsite are only setting up themselves for disaster. Having an unclean workspace is a safety risk and will not give the employee the opportunity to be as productive as they could be.

Workspace cleanliness is important for everyone on the jobsite. Some examples of poor housekeeping in the workplace are:

  • Dirty counters and floors
  • Spills and leaks
  • No organization
  • Dirty bathrooms
  • Tools left out
  • Not having proper signs visible
  • Construction site housekeeping tips

    If you want to make sure that your workplace is staying as tidy as possible and you want to avoid injury, there are some steps that you can follow.

    Posting this information in a high visibility area will help to keep all employees accountable. To keep the workplace tidy, clean, and free of harm to the best of your ability, follow these rules:

  • 1. Make sure all floors are dry and clear of clutter. This is help you avoid slips and trips at work. There should always be a clear pathway for walking to avoid risk of injuries. This is also a good practice to keep in mund in case an emergency occurs and everyone needs to exit the building.
  • 2. Stairways and hallways should always be clear of cutter to avoid tripping and falling. Floors should also be swept and mopped regularly to ensure they are clean. Conducting regular inspections of these common areas helps ensure they are always as safe as possible.
  • 3. If your work requires any type of toxic chemicals or liquids, they should be properly marked to help avoid any accidental spills or misidentification.
  • 4. Good housekeeping is not always about making sure you clean up your mess, but also about making sure all guidelines and rules are consistently followed. Fire extinguishers, emergency exit signs, first aid kits, and other similar items should always be in their designated areas. All employees should be aware of where these items are located and how to access them in case they are needed.
  • 5. Bathrooms should be kept clean and tidy. All trash cans and waste should be taken out regularly to maintain sanitary standards. All floors should be swept and mopped regularly. Wet floors need to be marked with the proper signage.
  • 6. If the area you are working in contains any live electrical wires, they should be properly marked and the signage prominently displayed. Precautions should be taken to avoid electrocution. Access to any electrical panels should never be blocked, and there should always be a clear path making them accessible.
  • Download a PDF of this toolbox talk

    Find and schedule topics faster

    Raken's toolbox talk app makes it easy to choose from a pre-loaded library (or upload your own), then schedule and assign topics for any project. We'd love to show you how in a demo, and get you started on a free trial.

    Schedule Demo