Hello there, this is Goke(your safety guide) here once again bringing up another topic on health and safety to you. Today we will be discussing about Good Housekeeping. Housekeeping in general is taking care of one’s environment. In safety it also involves ensuring that tools and materials are neatly arranged in the work area asides from removing waste and debris from wherever a job task is embarked upon.

Why should we pay attention to housekeeping at work?

Effective housekeeping can eliminate some workplace hazards and help get the job task done safely and in a proper manner. Poor housekeeping can frequently contribute to accidents by making hazards that can cause injuries hidden.

Housekeeping is not just cleanliness. It includes keeping work areas neat and orderly; maintaining halls and floors free of slip and trip hazards; and removal of waste materials (e.g., paper, cardboard) from work areas. It also entails paying attention to important details such as the entire work environment layout, aisle marking, the adequacy of storage facilities, and maintenance. Good housekeeping is also a basic part of accident and fire prevention.

Effective housekeeping is a continuous activity: it is not a hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally. Periodic “panic” cleanups are costly and ineffective in reducing accidents.

The purpose of workplace housekeeping?

Poor housekeeping can be lead to accidents, such as:

  • tripping over loose objects on floors, stairs and platforms
  • being hit by falling objects
  • slipping on greasy and wet surfaces
  • striking against projecting, poorly stacked items
  • cutting, puncturing, or tearing the skin of hands or other parts of the body on projecting nails, wire or steel strapping

To avoid these hazards, a workplace needs to “maintain” order throughout a workday. This effort requires a lot of management and planning, which in the long run has immense benefits.

Some benefits of good housekeeping practices?                                                                           Effective housekeeping results in:

  • reduced handling to ease the flow of materials
  • fewer tripping and slipping accidents in clutter-free and spill-free work areas
  • reduced fire hazards
  • lower worker exposures to hazardous substances (e.g. dusts, vapours)
  • more efficient equipment cleanup and maintenance
  • better hygienic conditions leading to improved health
  • more effective use of space
  • reduced property damage by improving preventive maintenance
  • improved productivity (tools and materials will be easy to find)

This is where we will stop in our discussion for now. So till I come your way again, this is Goke (your safety guide) signing off.

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Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety guide). Today we would be continuing on where we stopped last time on working safely at height.

Working at height bears more risk than working at ground level. However, if workers follow safety guidelines, they will be able to accomplish their specific job task at height without undue risk to themselves. Workers need to know about appropriate equipment as well as about how to use that equipment safely.

Plan In Advance

The most important way to ensure workers engage in safe work procedures when working at height is to plan the job in advance. The worker’s supervisor must consider which equipment would be best to get the job done, what special safety considerations are involved with the job and the type of training workers may need in order to safely do the job.

Workers should ensure that they familiarize themselves with the equipment and job requirements. They should minimize distractions by switching off their mobile phones or leaving them behind while working at height. They should also discuss with their supervisors about anything they are not uncomfortable with or unsure about so that they can receive appropriate training.

Use Proper Equipment

The type of equipment workers need to work at height varies depending on the type of job they are attempting to do. For example, ladders should only be used for short-term jobs and workers should not use this equipment if they are going to be remaining at height for a long period of time.

All equipment should be checked regularly for signs of wear and tear or defects. Any defected equipment should not be managed but rather such should be replaced for the worker.

Lastly, workers must be sure to place equipment properly for greatest safety. Ladders must be secured at the foot and placed in a manner that doesn’t interfere with pedestrian or other traffic and elevated platforms must be used only on firm, level ground. We stated in the previous article that a ladder and a scaffold are known to be elevated platforms.

 Take Risks Into Consideration

Every work site presents different risks. When working at height, workers must take the specific risks of the site they are working on into consideration. Workers should ensure that they examine the site before work starts so that they can identify these risks and make plans to minimize risk. For example, workers may wear safety harnesses or use other safety equipment so as to reduce the risk of falling from the height. Till I come your way again, this is Goke (your safety guide) saying all the best.




Hello there, this is Goke (your Safety guide) once again. Today we will be discussing what is called ‘working at height’. Working at height is a high risk activity, whether at home, in the office or in the construction industry. It is usually reported of construction workers getting seriously injured due to falls from a ladder and some cases of fatality. Serious head injuries being sustained and broken bones are the frequent result of ladder mishaps.

The questions to ask are:                                                                                                                             1.What does it mean to ‘work at height’?  2. How high is a  height?                                                         3. From what height should a ladder or scaffold be used?

In health and safety, a work or job task done at height is referred to as ‘work done in an elevated position’. In the ‘General Safety Regulation 6’ of Occupational Health and Safety Act(Act 85 of 1993), it stipulates that no person may work or be allowed to work in an elevated position (above ground level) unless such work is performed safely from a ladder or a scaffold or from a position where such person has been made as safe as if he or she were working from scaffold. This regulation applies from any work environment be it an office to more hazardous workplaces such as a construction site. We are going to focus on ladders as a temporary working platform. There are different types depending on the kind of work to be done. Examples include stepladders for industrial, commercial and household use. There are extension ladders, sectional ladders, single ladders and rolling ladders etc. Ladders can be made of wood, fiberglass or metal, and they may be portable or fixed .                                                                                                                                   Let us consider the factors that mainly contribute to Ladder accidents.                                               1. Faculty or poorly maintained ladder                                                                                                       2. Ladders not being correctly held, or safely secured.                                                                             3. Ladders are toppled by high winds.                                                                                                       4 Inadequate supervision.                                                                                                                           5. Workers not being properly trained or informed in the correct use of ladders.                                 6. Inadequate safe systems of work.                                                                                                           7. Ladders are carelessly handled or improperly positioned near electrical lines.                                 8. Workers take unsafe positions on ladders (such as leaning out too far).                                             9. Incorrect placement, poor footing or at improper angles cause ladders to slide.                           10. Workers fail to grip ladders adequately when climbing up or down.

In our next discussion, we will be looking at the Legal prescriptions that pertains to ladders( General Safety Regulations).  Till I come your way again, this is Goke (your safety guide) wishing you a fruitful day.