Spring is seen as a time of renewal: time to clear out and clean out. While performing spring cleaning tasks, please keep in mind safety precautions that you can incorporate into your routine to make your workplace safer and more enjoyable.
Clutter can make it difficult to find what you are looking for, and a cluttered work area increases the risk of fires, as well as slip-and-fall accidents. When decluttering and organizing your workspace, make sure that paths to exits are clear, and look for any hazards that could cause a trip or a fall. If your spring cleaning involves disposing of out-of-date paper documents, make sure that they are placed into secure recycling containers to prevent any risk to your personal information.
Any cleaning supplies for tidying up your workspace need to be properly stored. Refer to the material safety data sheet for each product to determine the proper way to store cleaning fluids and other chemicals. Avoid storing chemicals in direct sunlight or near other heat sources.
One basic yet potentially lifesaving task is to replace the batteries in all of your smoke detectors. It’s also important that you test them once a month (test emergency lighting at the same time), assuring that the batteries are still going strong. This is also a good time to check the batteries in any battery-powered radios or flashlights, and make sure you have spare batteries on hand. Store these supplies in a central location so you’ll know where they are and can easily access them in the event of an emergency.
While tidying up and organizing your workspace, be sure to check your first aid kit. Ensure that you have a sufficient quantity of first aid supplies, and that the expiration dates are current. Consult with management to prepare an appropriate and acceptable list of supplies for your specific workplace.
With the unpredictability of our weather, it is wise to keep a supply of bottled water and non-perishable food. Consider the things you’ll need in the event of a power outage, such as a manual can opener, a supply of moist towelettes, garbage bags, etc. Here are some recommendations from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help you prepare a basic kit.
The National Safety Council also has a good safety checklist. Many of the suggestions above apply to both home and workplace, so take time to review the tasks above so you’ll be ready for a safe spring and summer. Remember, if you need assistance in evaluating your workplace hazards or putting a safety program in place, partnering with a PEO like Staff One HR can make a big difference.
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