Clean Job Sites
Many employers require workers to keep their work areas clean, with some managers even considering the cleanliness of each employee’s work area when performing annual reviews. Cleaning work areas regularly prevent the buildup of dirt, food particles, grime and dust, but there are several other reasons employees should be concerned with cleanliness at job sites.
Infection control is a priority in the hospitality and healthcare industries, as infectious organisms can spread quickly if workers don’t take appropriate precautions. Restaurant workers must wash their hands regularly and avoid touching ready-to-eat food with their bare hands. These steps help control the spread of foodborne illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that these illnesses kill approximately 3,000 Americans per year. For instance, health care workers must wash their hands regularly, wear gloves when handling blood and other body fluids, dispose of needles in puncture-resistant sharps containers, sterilize used medical tools and take other precautions to prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other bloodborne illnesses.
Keeping work areas clean and tidy helps prevent slips, trips, falls and injuries caused by falling objects. Good cleanliness can also prevent flammable materials from igniting and causing workplace fires. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center recommends establishing a schedule of daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks for employees. The schedule should include employee break rooms or kitchen areas, bathrooms, desks and other work surfaces, computer keyboards and telephones. Managers should also identify cleanliness expectations and ensure that all employees adhere to these standards.
Maintaining a tidy work area affects your professional reputation in the workplace, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. staffing firm Adecco. “Forbes” contributor Jenna Goudreau summarized the results of this survey, reporting that 57 percent of respondents judge their colleagues based on the tidiness — or messiness — of their offices. Some respondents also indicated they consider a messy office a sign of laziness. A clean, neat work environment is more inviting for customers and helps business owners make a more positive impression. That’s why home service companies like Mr. Handyman make it a top priority to keep a tidy job site and maintain a professional appearance at all time.
Several agencies have standards that relate to sanitation and cleanliness in the workplace. OSHA standard 1910.37(a)(3) says that exit routes must be unobstructed, which means employees must keep them clear of equipment and materials. Standard 1910.141 addresses sanitation issues such as vermin control, housekeeping and waste disposal. State departments of health have requirements for restaurants, banquet halls, mobile food facilities, hotels, and other businesses that prepare and sell food.
“Forbes” also summarized the results of a 2011 study conducted by OfficeMax. Out of more than 1,000 adult workers, 77 percent said clutter affects their productivity in the workplace. More than 50 percent said disorganization affects their motivation levels and state of mind. Office clutter can be minimized by assigning everything its own place, simplifying paperwork and establishing zones for different types of work.