Effective housekeeping should be a major concern when it comes to safety in the workplace. Poor housekeeping frequently contributes to accidents by hiding hazards that can cause injuries.
If the sight of debris and clutter gradually appears as normal in the workplace, what happens when more serious hazards are taken for granted?
It’s important to keep work areas neat and orderly, as well as the entire layout of the whole workplace, including halls and storage facilities.
Be a safety conscious individual when dealing with potential hazards. Once you see there is a hazard, find a solution and fix it. If you can’t, then report it to someone who can.
If a risk to health and safety still remains, implement sound work procedures, and use personal protective equipment if necessary to reduce the hazard. Knowing a hazard exists and doing nothing about it can prove to be harmful, if not deadly.
Recently, three supervisors were indicted for failing to report and record hazardous conditions at the mine where they were employed.
The 32-count indictment came after a grand jury found them, along with their company, guilty. An underground miner was killed due to the violation of safety laws related to underground roof structures and dangerous electric cables.
Safety inspections had been falsified, which not only allowed miners to work in hazardous conditions, but also use equipment in situations that were not safe. Miners were working under an unsupportive roof and operating potentially dangerous electrical machinery that needed to be fixed.
In addition, the mining company had not followed its approved roof control plan, which has to be approved by MSHA. In order to protect miners from dangerous conditions, mining companies are required by law to submit a roof control plan to MSHA officials.
Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation. It is not a hit and miss cleanup done occasionally. Periodic cleanups are usually ineffective in reducing accidents.
Workplace health and safety hazards can be costly, but the good news is that they are largely preventable if the right precautions are taken.