When you think office housekeeping, you probably think of tasks like keeping things off the floor, hanging up coats in designated areas and not on the backs of chairs, leaving the conference room with a clean table and chairs pushed in, and picking up your trash after using the break or lunch room.
But what about those housekeeping items that, if ignored, could lead to safety issues? Lighting, exits, floors, and stairs, if not properly maintained, could cause injuries in the workplace. What kind of “housekeeping” is necessary to avoid this type of risk?
Lighting. When employees need to access the office after dark, is the entry well-lit? Are there lights in the main office walkways that are motion activated or are on during evening hours? Is there a preventative maintenance program established to assure burnt out bulbs are promptly attended to?
Exits. Are exits properly identified? Is there a clear understanding of where employees should go during an evacuation? During winter months, are those exits plowed for snow and treated like the main walkways?
Floors. Slip and falls can happen so easily on wet surfaces. If rain or snow are falling when employees come into work or return from lunch are the proper measures being taken to assure the floors are kept dry? For example, extra roll-out rugs can minimize moisture on non-carpeted surfaces.
Stairs. Are they properly maintained and well-lit? How effective is the tread system? Are stair rails secure and at a level to assist someone? Is there any type of debris that could cause someone to slip?
The bottom line is that office safety starts with standard housekeeping procedures that all employees should follow. How organized is your office? I’d like to hear your tips for keeping it safe.