Good housekeeping practices reduce your chances of fires, accidents and injuries. They also leave customers with a good impression of your business. So what bases should you cover when incorporating housekeeping into your loss prevention program?
- Your facility (including layout and design)
- Storage and waste disposal
- Employee procedures
Housekeeping becomes even more important if your business involves hazardous activities such as welding (hot work) or spray-painting. In that case, consider:
- Designing the facility to segregate hazardous activities from the rest of your operations
- Special waste disposal procedures to remove any combustibles or wastes
- Strict procedures that all employees are required to follow
A few things to keep in mind
Make sure you also extend housekeeping activities to outside areas. Combustible material, long grass and weeds can be a fire hazard. Loose items in your yard can be a tripping hazard for staff and customers as well. Poor housekeeping leads to debris that raise your fire load, putting your merchandise and employees in danger. Establish housekeeping standards and train all employees on how to follow them. The checklists below can help you and your staff stick to the housekeeping plan.
- Keep aisles free of equipment, products and debris.
- Clean floors daily to prevent the buildup of dust, waste paper, and scrap.
- Don’t allow smoking in all areas of your facility and post “no smoking” signs as well.
- Make sure you properly handle flammable and combustible liquids including their containers and spillage.
- Keep all surfaces – including beams, ceilings and hidden spaces – dust free.
- Clean dust with a vacuum that has a static reducing device.
- A dust collection system with spark detection comes in handy while sanding wood and performing other dust producing processes.
- Restrict access to dust collection areas.
- Empty trash containers daily.
- Store waste containers outside in a designated area that’s away from the building.
- Garbage should be separated by type (wood, paper, oily rags) and placed in non- combustible containers.
- Remove packaging waste such as shredded paper and plastic from the work area on a daily basis.
While this checklist is a great start, you may need to add to it depending on your business’ specific requirements. Incorporating proper housekeeping into your loss prevention strategy will help your business be safer and more efficient.