Housekeeping / Preventive Maintenance

What are housekeeping and preventive maintenance?

Proper housekeeping and a preventive maintenance program are critically important in preventing injuries, illnesses, and even fatalities.

Effective housekeeping includes keeping work areas neat and orderly, maintaining floors from slip and trip hazards, removing waste materials -- including fire hazards -- and having a good workplace layout, aisle markings, adequate storage facilities and maintenance.

Preventive maintenance is predetermined work performed to a schedule with the aim of preventing the wear and tear or sudden failure of equipment components.  This helps to protect assets and prolong the useful life of production equipment, improve system reliability, decrease cost of replacement and system downtime as well as reduce injuries.

What the law says

The Occupational Health and Safety Act, which gives the Government of Ontario broad powers to make regulations, sets out general principles and duties for the workplace parties.  Regulations applicable to maintenance include:

  • Industrial Establishments (R.R.O. 851/90)
  • Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents (R.R.O. 833/90)
  • WHMIS (R.R.O. 860/90)
  • Designated Substances

Certain sections of the Ontario Fire Code may also be applicable to maintenance activities.

There are several regulations that apply to housekeeping that cover floor conditions, lighting, storage of flammable materials, storage of cylinder-shaped objects and barrels, fire extinguishers, aisles, exits, etc.

Contact your health and safety provider for the specific regulations that cover your workplace.

How having a well maintained workplace can help  your business

Inadequate housekeeping and poorly maintained equipment can result in serious accidents, fatalities, damage to equipment, materials and production downtime.

Good housekeeping and preventive maintenance reflect a well-run business, and an orderly workplace.  This not only is a critical safety measure, but it will have an impact on all who enter your workplace including employees, visitors, and customers.

What you can do

Integrate preventive maintenance processes and good housekeeping into your regular operations and inspect your workplace regularly to ensure that deficiencies and hazards are identified and repairs and/or changes are made.

Downloads

Good Housekeeping at Work

Good Housekeeping at Work

Experience has shown that good housekeeping is an essential part of your company's health and safety program and benefits both employers and employees.
228 KB PDF
Job Aid - Janitorial Cleaning Cart

Job Aid - Janitorial Cleaning Cart

There are many hazards that can arise when using janitorial cleaning carts, learn more.
830 KB PDF
Job Aid - Vacuum Cleaner

Job Aid - Vacuum Cleaner

Improper use of vacuum cleaners can lead to hazards. Use our Job Aid to learn more.
803 KB PDF
Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is predetermined work performed to a schedule with the aim of preventing the wear and tear or sudden failure of equipment components thereby protecting assets and prolonging the useful life of production equipment.  It is an important, ongoing accident prevention activity, that should be integrated into your operations and product manufacturing processes.
280 KB pdf
Safety Check: Cleaning Cart Safety

Safety Check: Cleaning Cart Safety

Cleaning cart safety tips for workers.
566 KB PDF
Safety Check: Mopping Spills Safety

Safety Check: Mopping Spills Safety

Mopping spills safety tips for workers.
481 KB PDF
Safety Check: Vacuum Safety

Safety Check: Vacuum Safety

Vacuum Safety tips for workers.
481 KB PDF

Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

General Consulting Services

Integrating health and safety into your workplace is good business.  WSPS’ consultants employ a results-based approach to health, safety and environment, focused on building self-reliance,  and enabling your organization to implement, manage and continually improve your health and safety programs.

WSPS Safety Group

WSPS Safety Group

WSPS is the largest Safety Group provider and one of the longest running sponsors in the province. With our extensive experience and proven track record, by working with us and other member firms participating firms can achieve better results, and qualify for WSIB rebates.

Articles

Winter's coming: 12 tips for staying safe

Winter's coming: 12 tips for staying safe

WSPS Consultant Kristin Onorato lives in Southwestern Ontario. While it’s not the coldest part of the province, it is home to paralyzing snowfalls that can dump upwards of 30 centimetres in hours. Kristin has had plenty of experience personally and professionally in preparing for winter, and offers 12 tips to keep you safe at home and at work.
Nov 15, 2017
Spot fall hazards before the blitz

Spot fall hazards before the blitz

Slips, trips, and falls remain the bane of Ontario workplaces and a Ministry of Labour (MOL) priority. Why? Check the numbers: almost 12,000 lost time injury claims are filed annually, or 32 claims per day, at a direct benefit claim cost to employers of more than $73 million.
Sep 12, 2017
9 ways to prevent pallet injuries

9 ways to prevent pallet injuries

The 2016 trial of a respected big box retailer following the death of a worker has raised fresh concerns over pallet safety. The worker died two weeks after he tripped on an empty pallet and hit his head. While this may be an isolated incident, it highlights the potential consequences of unsafe practices involving pallets.
Aug 10, 2017
6 things you need to know about PSRs

6 things you need to know about PSRs

Many employers remain confused by the legal requirements for a Pre-Start Health and Safety Review (PSR) for new or modified equipment, says Michael Wilson, a WSPS technical consultant. “They may not know the requirements exist, even though it’s been around for over 15 years. Or they confuse it with their own company’s pre-start equipment check before each shift.”
Aug 10, 2017
Listen up! Reduce workplace noise in 4 steps

Listen up! Reduce workplace noise in 4 steps

Efforts have recently ramped up to protect Ontario's workers from noise-induced hearing loss. They include a new noise regulation with stricter duties for employers, a year-long noise initiative from the Ministry of Labour, and a new education and awareness campaign from Ontario's Occupational Disease Action Plan.
Jun 13, 2017
Dropped tools can kill. Here's how to secure tools at heights

Dropped tools can kill. Here's how to secure tools at heights

Imagine this: one of your workers drops a 3-pound tool from a height of 20 feet. The tool hits a worker below with 336 pounds of force. Just 16 pounds of force can fracture a skull.
Jun 13, 2017
Integrating occupational hygiene into your H&S program: a success story

Integrating occupational hygiene into your H&S program: a success story

Like most workplaces, THK Rhythm Automotive Canada doesn't have or need in-house expertise to assess worker exposure to chemical, physical or biological agents. The task requires rigorous scientific methodology, best left to specialists like WSPS occupational hygienist Ilma Bhunnoo.

Jun 07, 2016
9 steps to take after a racking incident

9 steps to take after a racking incident

"If you look at pictures of collapsed racking, it looks like a war zone," says WSPS consultant Norm Kramer. "Just a mangled mess of intertwined metal pieces that can cover a large area." This frightening scenario, with its obvious risks to people and property, can occur when warehouses repeatedly fail to identify and fix racking damage. It's often a case of "one time too many," says Kramer.

May 05, 2016
9 ways to sustain the health and safety - of everyone - during the holiday rush

9 ways to sustain the health and safety - of everyone - during the holiday rush

If retail and hospitality employers get their wish, this holiday season will be hectic and profitable. "For some businesses, particularly small businesses, Christmas makes or breaks their year financially," says Rodola Sibuma, a WSPS key account manager. But with high traffic and demand comes a faster pace and higher volume of work, the introduction of temporary staff into the workplace, and a need to keep extra inventory on hand - all of which can increase the risk of slips, trips, falls, strains and sprains, stress, and more.

Nov 09, 2015
Removing snow from roofs: get ahead of winter with a 10-step plan

Removing snow from roofs: get ahead of winter with a 10-step plan

Ontario winters can sweep in quickly and unexpectedly, and once here they can still be unpredictable, with extreme variations in snowfall and temperature. If snow and ice could accumulate on the roof of your business, be proactive. Preparing a snow removal plan now could make all the difference between a worry-free winter and a frantic, last-minute response that could expose people to injuries, and your business to liability and loss.

Nov 09, 2015
Slips, trips and falls: 7 steps to prevent them and prepare for the February blitz

Slips, trips and falls: 7 steps to prevent them and prepare for the February blitz

Next month's slip, trip and fall inspection blitz is the second in two years. "There's no question the ministry is taking this hazard very seriously," says WSPS consultant Kevin Smith. "And for good reason: slips, trips and falls consistently rank among the top four causes of workplace injuries."

Jan 12, 2015