Maintaining A Clean & Organized Workspace
We have developed guidance and practical steps for you to implement each of the ten areas of focus when creating an effective Safety & Wellness Program at your organization. The following guidance corresponds to focus area number ten: Maintaining A Clean & Organized Workspace.
Keeping your organization orderly and organized will help to prevent employee injuries—especially slips, trips and falls. Sometimes it may be difficult to identify where to begin with all of the other priorities that are top of mind. Here are a few tips to get you started when re-organizing and maintaining safe workspaces.
Sorting all of your inventory will help you to know where they should be placed, so that they can be organized properly once they have been designated to a specific area.
- Take inventory of all items that you currently own.
- Before placing them in to their proper place, clean them thoroughly.
- Place all items with other like items.
When an organization is cluttered, it often causes over purchasing. This is due to the fact that when someone can’t find something, they have the tendency to just buy it rather than hunting through the clutter. This can cause injury because there are now duplicates crowding space, and providing more of an opportunity for someone to slip and fall.
- Make sure that everyone in the organization who has purchasing access has awareness of what items the organization owns. This is where taking inventory will be helpful.
- If no one in your organization has used an item in the last 6 months, and it will not be used soon, consider repurposing, donating or discarding it.
- Make sure that the only items that are kept are the ones that are actually needed and unbroken.
- Create a cleaning schedule and make sure that everyone is aware of it.
- Hold employees responsible to cleaning up after themselves.
- Specifically, have an expectation for employees to pick up any toys, trash or other materials off of the floor to prevent slips, trips and falls. This is very important in childcare rooms that have toys scattered on the floor.
- Reinforce the importance of throwing away trash immediately to employees.
- Sift through all papers you may have laying around. Recycle any paper you do not need any more or consider scanning them and emailing them to yourself.
- For items that are used frequently, store them in an easily accessible area.
- For smaller items that need to be stored in a storage container, determine if several similar items can be stored together.
- When storing items in a container, be sure that heavy items are at the bottom and work your way up based on weight distribution.
- Label everything. Use chalkboard labels for temporary labeling, bookplate labels to organize baskets and bins, label makers for binders and small items or silhouette/adhesive vinyl labels. Labels will ensure employees are using the correct materials, chemicals, etc.