Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator
A clean orderly workplace sets the tone for everything else. It creates an atmosphere that employees want to work in. It sends a message to visitors that you take your work seriously. Customers and vendors can see there is a pride in the quality of workmanship. Most importantly, everyone can sense that this is a professional and safe workplace. Work areas such as the maintenance shop, livestock barns, and equipment / material storage buildings are typically used to the fullest extent, however a priority to maintain a clean and orderly workplace in these areas is essential to avoid falls, fires and many other types of injuries. Checklists are a useful way to eliminate the hazards of poor workplace housekeeping. Here is a simple checklist that can be used to help keep your agricultural workplace safe and organized.
- Workstations / workbenches are clean and free of clutter.
- Materials stored in clearly labeled containers and in designated storage areas only.
- Floors are clean, dry and in good condition.
- Spills and leaks of any type are cleaned up quickly and properly.
- Proper waste containers are located in easy to access areas and emptied regularly.
- Oily rags are disposed of in covered metal containers.
- Tools and equipment are kept clean, well maintained and stored properly.
- Electrical boxes or components are free from dust buildup and cobwebs.
- Electrical cords, plugs and outlets are inspected regularly for wear and damage.
- Stools and chairs are tucked away so they are not tripping hazards.
- Drawers and cabinet doors are kept closed to prevent tripping hazards.
- Aisles, stairways, exits and entrances are free of obstructions.
- Materials are safely stacked so they will not collapse or fall.
- Fire Extinguishers are easily accessible and not blocked by stored materials or other obstructions.
Using the checklist on a regular interval (weekly or monthly) can identify waste accumulation areas, locations that need cleaned or organized, and can significantly reduced the risk of injury.