I. Purpose

To establish the requirement and responsibilities for routine housekeeping to ensure that work areas are maintained in a clean manner and present an acceptable appearance.

II. Policy

The university strives to provide a safe and healthy environment for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Good housekeeping is a major factor in minimizing occupational  injuries and illnesses. The guidelines outlined in this document represent acceptable housekeeping practices for the university. All employees are encouraged to take personal initiative in following the procedures outlined in this document and to continually contribute to a safe, clean and orderly environment.

III. Scope

This policy applies to all personnel and facilities of the university.

IV. References

  1. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.22 General Requirements
  2. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.141 General Environmental Controls
  3. OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1926.25 Housekeeping

V. Procedure

A. General

All personnel will work towards maintaining their respective workplaces in a clean and orderly manner. Housekeeping encompasses all activities related to the cleanliness of university facilities, materials, and equipment and the elimination of nonessential materials and hazardous conditions. The following general housekeeping practices must be applied to all areas within the university and all areas where employees perform maintenance, construction, or other activities:

  1. Garbage, scrap, debris and other trash materials are to be properly disposed of in designated containers and shall be removed on frequent and regular intervals.  Containers used for garbage and other oily, flammable or hazardous wastes shall be equipped with covers.
  2. Material and equipment will be stored only in appropriate storage locations.
  3. Floors should be maintained clean and as dry as reasonably practicable.  Liquid spills are to be cleaned up immediately.
  4. Equipment is to be kept clean and in good working condition.
  5. Individual work areas are to be kept clean to insure that work activities may proceed in an orderly and efficient manner.
  6. Tools, supplies, parts, and equipment will not be used in a manner that would be hazardous or adversely affect the work quality. Control should be used to insure that the work area is maintained in an acceptable manner.
  7. Trenches, pits, or sumps are to be covered or barricaded at all times.
  8. Welding splatter and slag should be contained with the use of high temperature protective screens or shields. Welding splatter or slag should be cleaned up before leaving the work site for an extended period of time. The entire work site will be cleaned at the end of the work shift.
  9. Compressed air shall not exceed 30 psi when used for cleaning purposes. Eye protection is required during these cleaning operations. The use of compressed air for cleaning an employee's body or clothing is discouraged.
  10. Shelved items must be placed in an orderly manner and arranged so that the items cannot easily fall while nearby items are being retrieved.
  11. Items will not be placed in front of shelves so that employees must climb or reach over the items stored in front of the shelves to retrieve items.
  12. Storage of unnecessary combustibles such as cardboard boxes is discouraged.
  13. Items stored shall remain 18" below the plane of the sprinkler heads, or 24" below the ceiling in areas without automatic sprinkler systems.
  14. Every floor, working place, and passageway shall be kept free from protruding nails, splinters, loose boards, and unnecessary holes and openings.

B. Inspections

Work areas will be inspected for deficiencies in cleanliness and good physical appearance. Inspections should be performed at a frequency that will ensure the desired level of cleanliness and appearance are maintained. Supervisors should monitor these areas to insure that housekeeping is acceptable. In shared storage areas, shops, or offices, supervisors of the various employees should work closely together to insure that housekeeping is maintained in an acceptable manner. Supervisors should develop an inspection checklist that is tailored to the individual shop or departmental area. All deficiencies noted during the inspection should be documented in sufficient detail to allow the use of the checklist as a cleanup guide. (See Housekeeping Checklist). Maintenance deficiencies that pertain to the university facilities should be submitted on a work order to the Physical Plant (extension 2500). During inspections, any safety related deficiencies that constitute hazardous conditions should be given priority attention. Hazardous conditions that constitute imminent danger shall be immediately reported to the departmental supervisor and to the Office of Safety and Fire Protection (extensions 2457 or 2481).
Inspection guidelines:

  1. Housekeeping is being maintained as an integral part of every work operation.
  2. Receptacles are available for waste and debris.
  3. Cleaning and removal of waste, debris, and dust is being performed regularly.
  4. A sufficient number of waste receptacles are available to make their use convenient.
  5. Stairways, aisles, corridors, and passageways are free from loose material and debris and are not used for storage.
  6. Tools, cords, and other materials are not strewn about where they may cause tripping or other safety hazards.
  7. Locker rooms, wash rooms, toilets, drinking fountains, and other similar facilities are being constantly maintained in a sanitary condition.
  8. Deficiencies in physical appearance (such as a need for painting and other appearance related maintenance items) should be noted during the inspections.
  9. Deficiencies in the area of corrective maintenance such as leaking valves or fittings, excessive motor vibrations, etc., should be noted during the inspections.

C. Responsibilities

1. The Office of Safety and Fire Protection shall:

  • Insure that the requirements of this standard practice remain current with the applicable regulatory directives.

2. Supervisors shall:

    • Insure that elements of this policy are being followed by conducting inspections, reviews, spot-checks, and other warranted follow-up action.
    • Plan for the necessary funding to insure good housekeeping standards are maintained.
    • Conduct or arrange for inspections in their area of responsibility.
    • Insure that each work area under their supervision is maintained at an acceptable level of appearance and cleanliness.
    • Initiate corrective action for deficient items noted during inspections.

3. Personnel shall:

  • Follow the requirements of this housekeeping policy.

Safety Office personnel are available to conduct departmental or individual training relative to any of the listed safety topics upon request.  Please  contact the safety office with your request or with any questions regarding information on the Safety Web Page.