Several workplace safety hazards-2
Several workplace safety hazards-Poor Housekeeping
National Safety Council consultants identify what they see repeatedly when auditing worksites
Clutter blocking fire exits, aisles and emergency exits is a housekeeping problem that George, who is based in the United Kingdom as NSC’s manager of international consulting services, sees often.
Another common hazard? Over-stacking loads on racks in a warehouse that bring them too close to a sprinkler head, which can limit the sprinkler’s efficiency in an emergency. Clutter, leaks or standing water also can contribute to slips, trips and falls.
Workers shouldn’t wait for housekeeping or sanitation crews to take care of these issues, Dankert said. Instead, they should clean as they go. “Just because it’s a dirty process doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean up spills,” she said.
If the clutter or spill requires specialized training to clean up, then employees need to alert their supervisor, who can send in the appropriate staff. Additionally, Dankert recommends setting aside a few minutes at the end of each shift, or on a Friday afternoon, to clean up before leaving for the day.
When it comes to storage, employers need to make sure appropriate areas are made available, notes Harrington, an NSC senior consultant based in Illinois. Harrington said she often sees electrical rooms used inappropriately for storage, with supplies blocking electrical installations.
Even if clearance between the stored supplies and the circuit breakers is appropriate, Harrington pointed out, employers need to consider situations that could arise in which someone would need easy access to that room.
“Think about an emergency where lights are out, something has gone wrong, and it’s full of chairs,” she said. “I wouldn’t recommend storing anything in an electrical room beyond what’s in the use of that room. I wouldn’t recommend it at all.”