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S15 - Housekeeping

The maintenance of a tidy working environment is a significant control measure that helps to eliminate slip, trip and fall incidents in the workplace.

The Housekeeping Procedure covers all aspects of housekeeping including the identification, prevention and reduction of slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

The procedure outlines what to consider when undertaking a housekeeping risk assessment. It explains the duties of employees and gives some examples of housekeeping initiatives for consideration.

There is also a housekeeping checklist that can be modified for your site.

What is this?

This is a written procedure which covers all aspects of housekeeping including the identification, prevention and reduction of slips, trips and falls in the workplace. A PDF of the procedure is available to download (see attached), please use it in conjunction with the attached Checklist and Toolbox Talk.

What do we need to do?

The person responsible for implementing this procedure must ensure that:

  • An initial risk assessment of housekeeping hazards is undertaken;
  • All risk assessment findings are communicated back to the workforce;
  • An action plan is developed detailing any recommendations raised in the assessment along with realistic timescales, and the personnel responsible for rectifying any improvements;  
  • A continuous review of site conditions is performed to monitor performance.  

The risk assessment must:

  • Cover all locations on the site including processing plants, haul roads, offices, canteens and workshops;
  • Identify all unused, unwanted and unnecessary items that may present a slip, trip or fall hazard;
  • Identify how the items that are being kept will be correctly stored (this could include designated storage areas, shadow boards for tools, racking and shelving);
  • Identify areas of spillage, what controls can be implemented to stop the spillage at source, and how to deal with them immediately;
  • Outline how the storage of oils and lubricants is to be carried out to minimise spillage incidents;
  • Result in a housekeeping action plan for the site.

What information needs to be given to employees?

The responsible manager must ensure that employees are made aware of the following:

  • The findings that have been identified through a risk assessment;
  • The control measures required to minimise the risk of housekeeping issues within the workplace;
  • The results of any site housekeeping inspections (these can be displayed on the site notice board).

Note: Make sure information is communicated in such a way that employees can be expected to understand (for example you might need to make special arrangements if the employee does not understand English or cannot read). Responsible managers have a duty to make contractors and visitors aware of housekeeping standards.    

What do employees have to do?

Employees must:

  • Co-operate to ensure that the standard of housekeeping is maintained to a high level;
  • Notify management of housekeeping issues in the work environment.

Review

Should changes to plant, equipment or significant process occur, a re-assessment should be considered. If it appears that nothing has changed, a review of the assessment must not be left for more than two years.  

Note: A review does not necessarily mean a re-assessment.

Legislation

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations    

Associated documentation

  • Housekeeping checklist H&SHK01

This workplace procedure forms part of a Health & Safety Risk Management System for employers in the quarrying industry. The procedures, which cover a wide range of workplace risks and hazards, can be viewed here

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