Cleanliness is important for health and wellbeing. Housekeeping is the department that deals essentially with cleanliness, all ancillary services attached and effectively reduces the emissions, wastes and operational costs with higher productivity.
An easy and low cost method for reducing operational cost can be achieved by implementing good housekeeping initiatives in one’s business. Good housekeeping practices are procedural, administrative or institutional measures that a business can adopt with the aim of preventing waste and pollution. It is important that a company reassesses its housekeeping practices regularly because much money and resources are wasted due to lack of care or ignorance.
Exercising good housekeeping practices can require no capital cost and usually entails implementing simple changes that result in reduced emissions, wastes, operational costs and increased productivity as well as increased workplace safety. Good housekeeping practices in the business place contribute to:
• Reducing disposal costs;
• More effective use of space within the work place;
• Better hygienic conditions leading to improved health conditions; and
• Reduced operation and handling time.
How to implement?
Housekeeping practices can be implemented through various initiatives:
• Waste segregation
• Preventative maintenance programme
• Training and awareness: By providing training to employees in proper equipment operation, minimising material losses during accidents, detecting and minimising material losses to air, water and land. Awareness rising should highlight the economic and environmental impact of waste generations and disposal.
• Effective Supervision: Top Management need to show their commitment and support to pollution prevention programmes by committing to closer supervision.
• Employee participation: Employees should be made to feel that they are playing a role in the cleaner production programme. There should be an open dialogue of ideas and suggestions and possibly rewards for sections for giving ideas provide for major savings.
• Inventory control: The over ordering of raw materials may cause products to exceed their expiry dates, occupy large amounts of space and could pose a health risk, in the case of an accident. Regular checks should be done to ensure that the raw materials are being used correctly.
• Monitoring: Monitoring your water consumption allows you to spot a sudden increase in consumption that is most often caused by leaks and malfunction of equipment. Without monitoring, these leaks often go unnoticed for some time and are responsible for unnecessarily huge water bills.
• Workplace tidiness/safety: The workplace should be kept clean and safe by: keeping tools, floors and equipment clean; hiding hazards; making employees aware of the risk of their jobs, having the emergency safety measures in place and having adequate ear protection for workers where noise levels reach higher than 85dB.