Toolbox Safety Topics

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Good Safety Housekeeping Practice

Housekeeping is everyone's responsibility and it requires all of us to keep the workplace clean, tidy and organised to make it safe to work in.

A clean work area free of debris and clutter is critical to maintaining a safe work environment. Housekeeping is a continual effort, but one where the rewards are far greater than the effort.

Good Housekeeping promotes Safety and also indicates a level of professionalism in the work area. Effective housekeeping requires you to:
  • Organise your work area and equipment,
  • Keep your work area clean and clear of rubbish.
  • Roll up hoses after use.
  • Clean up spills.
  • Store things in their proper place.
  • Keep walk ways clear, floors and access-ways unobstructed.
  • Regularly disposing rubbish in bins provided.

Poor housekeeping leads to a variety of accidents, injuries, damages and problems:
  • Slip and trip accidents occur when tools, equipment and scrap materials; e.g. damaged pallets and cages left lying on the ground, in corridors, walkways; cluttered work spaces, spills not cleaned up immediately.
  • Splinters, cuts and eye injuries occur when metal filings and dust from chemicals are not cleaned up on top of work benches or trailers. E.g. sharp or damages objects are left in the walkways like damaged cages left in the walkways and not reported for repair.
  • Crush injuries occur when unstable stacks e.g. pallets stacked unevenly too high up or overburdened storage shelves collapse.
  • Time is wasted because tools equipment and freight are always being moved and re-arranged.
  • Serious injury or death when injured by damaged or broken objects and when people are trying to evacuate a building or access way and emergency exits are blocked off or obstructed.

A cluttered, untidy and disorganized workplace is difficult for everyone to work in and does not encourage quality work.

Benefits of good housekeeping are:
  • Less risk of accidents and injuries;
  • Less risk of fires
  • A more organised workplace and less time wasted trying to find tools, equipment and materials.


  • Keep floors and access-ways unobstructed.
  • DO NOT stack or store anything in front of doorways; emergency exits or safety showers
  • Correctly stacking and storing tools, equipment and materials in their proper places or on storage racks if possible.
  • Store small containers of flammable liquids in flame proof cabinets. This includes tins, plastic bottles of oil and aerosol packs of paint and degreaser.
  • Clean up small oil spills using the peat provided in the spill kits bins and report larger spills.
  • Regularly dispose of rubbish and waste hazards correctly in the rubbish bins provided.

Employees should report hazards to supervisors/managers and complete a Hazard /Near Miss report form to be submitted to the Safety Department.

As part of Good Safety Housekeeping Practice, monthly hazard inspections should be conducted by the Area Supervisor / Branch Manager/ Safety Representatives in the department/ branch using the Hazards Checklist. Supervisors / Managers are to summarise the results and ensure that corrective action is taken for controlling hazards rated medium and high risks.


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