From TV shows and ads, we sometimes get the impression that
concern over "tidiness" is a rather amusing character
trait. When a homemaker gets all shook up about "waxy
yellow buildup" on the kitchen floor or water spots on
the glassware, we chuckle and shake our heads, wondering how
people can get upset about something so minor compared to
the big issues most off us have to worry about.
But the importance of good housekeeping is not
a joke to anyone who wants to avoid the hazards presented
by sloppy habits.
In addition to encouraging poor attitudes, poor
housekeeping can lead to:
Slips from slick or wet floors, platforms,
and other walking and working surfaces;
Trips from objects or materials that are left
in walkways and work areas;
Falls from holes in walking and working surfaces,
uneven flooring, uncovered pits or drains, and boxes and pallets
that are used instead of adequate platforms;
Collisions caused by poorly stored materials,
overhanging or protruding objects, haphazard spotting of pallets,
and use of aisles for storing materials and equipment.
Good housekeeping, on the other
Eliminates accident and fire causes
Saves energy by eliminating the need to work "around"
congested areas and "deadwood" stored in the work
Makes the best use of space and allows for cost-effective
"just-in-time" inventory management.
Helps control property damage
Encourages better work habits
Reflects an image of a well-run operation.
Point of Order!
Housekeeping is more than just sweeping the floor
and wiping off the machines and equipment. Although cleanliness
is an important part of housekeeping, and contributes to
a healthful workplace, there is another often overlooked but
very important part: order. A work area is in order
when there are no unnecessary objects in the area and when
all necessary items are in their proper places.
Saying that "we have a place for everything is
in its place" does not necessarily mean that a workplace is
in order, however. For example:
Do you use your production area for storage
or keep supplies in the area because "they'll be needed one
of these days?" If there is one item in an area that is unnecessary
or not in its proper place, then you do not have order.
Do you and other workers "tidy up"
your stations by jumbling tools, materials, and unfinished
product together in bins that fit neatly under the workbenches?
This is neat, but not orderly-and certainly not safe.
Furthermore, you cannot put an area in order and
then forget about it. A conscious effort by everyone in the
work area is necessary to maintain order. After all, if works
being done, some disorder is being created-even if it's only
the accumulation of materials, tools, and scrap. This maintenance
effort must go on throughout the day, too. If you wait until
the end of the day (or shift), how orderly where you during
the working hours when order is most important?
Getting with the Program
A good housekeeping program must include careful
planning, a cleanup schedule or policy, effective inspection,
and continuous enforcement of housekeeping rules.
Inspect your area for unnecessary tools, equipment,
parts, materials, and supplies; items that are not needed
should be sent to the storage room or used for salvage.
Reorganize the storage area in your workplace.
Establish one or more storage areas for holding finished products
and daily quantities or raw materials and supplies; storage
areas should not obstruct aisles and work areas.
Create a daily cleanup policy and program. Periodically
review housekeeping rules cleanup policies, and procedures.
Order results in greater and safer production of better products
at lower costs. This means increased business and prosperity
for our company-and for you, its employees.