One of the most important parts of a business or facility is the organisation of the housekeeping. Housekeeping can refer to a group that tends to the cleanliness and organisation of a building. It can also refer to the condition in which staff members leave work stations for safety purposes. There are certain policies and procedures that companies should follow when housekeeping.
A housekeeping staff should keep accurate records in a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly housekeeping plan. This plan should include a checklist to ensure that all areas of a building are being cleaned. Such areas of a building as bathrooms must be cleaned several times a day, for instance, while an ice machine might be cleaned every couple of weeks. These cleaning tasks should be clearly laid out and responsibilities should be assigned to staff members.
Some buildings will be inspected on a quarterly or yearly basis by the local health department or another regulatory organisation. It's a good idea, then, to perform weekly or monthly inspections of the building using something similar to your local health department’s checklist. Conducting self-inspections can quickly determine whether guidelines are not followed on the housekeeping plan. The results of a self-inspection should be given to a person of authority in the company to evaluate and determine whether changes should be made to the housekeeping plan.
There are many different kinds of chemicals used in housekeeping and they must be properly handled at all times. All chemicals must be properly labelled in a way that meets OSHA standards (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The purposes of these chemicals should be understood by all staff members who use them. Some types of chemicals that require regulation are disinfectants, solvents, acids, abrasive cleaners, rug cleaner, caustic products and speciality products. The chemicals should be kept in a safe location, away from heat or direct sunlight.
Work Station Housekeeping
Employees must keep their own work stations neat to prevent workplace injury. Ensure all aisles, stairways, passageways and exits are free of obstructions throughout the day. Throw away supplies and materials that are no longer needed. Return all tools or items in a safe and clean manner to their designated areas. Clean spills right away to avoid a hazard. Observe and follow all building safety signs.
Some newer housekeeping policies and procedures focus on impacting the environment as little as possible. These policies include purchasing cleaning products that meet environmental standards, training personnel in the removal and recycling of cleaning chemicals, and instructing all workers in the building’s recycling policy. Some products that should be avoided are petroleum-based solvents, products containing glycol ethers and phenolic compounds and surfactants.