Housekeeping – Time Well Spent

 In General Safety, Human Hazards, Loss Control, Physical Hazards

It’s been a long shift. I’ll get to it first thing tomorrow. I have to pick up my kid from school. At the end of a tiring day it can be too tempting to rush out the door.

What you probably missed, though, is how not picking up after your work activity is setting in motion a whole range of negative possibilities. How about when someone else enters your work area and trips over the supplies you left behind. Or the equipment damage or theft that results from leaving your tools exposed to weather.

Improve your task planning and overall housekeeping by reserving enough time at the end of the activity to properly put away equipment, reduce trip hazards, and generally tidy up. Besides avoiding future problems for people and equipment, it leaves you with a feeling of completion and satisfaction. Believe it or not, those positive feelings are habit forming.

In the craft alcohol business, adopt this policy for every task, both in routine operations and with repairs or special projects. A brewery or distillery may have lots of stairs in production areas, but also elsewhere. You’ve probably heard this one. “Some hand tools were left on a staircase by the maintenance guy. When Joanna came down the stairs from bookkeeping with an armful of mail in her hands, she didn’t see the clutter and ended up hospitalized.”

Fluid transfer tasks also cause housekeeping difficulties. You are likely to have very stiff transfer hoses and power cords laid out in a small area. With a little effort, you can begin to arrange things better than a twisted mess. And put trip hazards away after use, even if it won’t be too long before you need them again. Think of it as “good housekeeping”.

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