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Property Loss – Housekeeping

Proper workplace housekeeping helps keep structures safe from fires and other hazards. Housekeeping must be integrated into an organization’s operations. Establishing and enforcing a standard for good loss control housekeeping can also affect the organization’s culture. Combustible scrap materials and trash accumulations can provide a fuel source and contribute to fire development. Dust and small, fibrous materials accumulations will increase the likelihood of a flash fire or dust explosion.

See how your workplace stacks up against the housekeeping standards below:

  • Are aisles free of equipment, raw material, and scrap?
  • Is equipment and machinery designed to allow for easy cleaning and organized to allow for waste removal?
  • If smoking is permitted, are designated smoking areas established and “No Smoking” signs posted in all other areas of the facility?
  • Are non-combustible receptacles for smoking materials provided and routinely emptied?
  • Is trash separated by type (wood, paper, oily rags) and placed in non-combustible containers?
  • Are trash containers emptied daily?
  • Are cooking appliances equipped with easily accessible and removable non-combustible grease filters?
  • Are grease containers emptied at least daily?
  • Are raw materials storage areas routinely monitored and cleaned to prevent combustible dust buildup, such as from sugar and starches?
  • Are hoods and dusts vented to the exterior of the building and provided with an accessible opening for inspection and cleaning?
  • Do you perform regular cleaning on horizontal surfaces, floors, decks, walls, and bulkheads, including equipment ducts, pipes, hoods, ledges, beams, stair rails, and above suspended ceilings and other concealed surfaces? At a minimum, clean at a frequency sufficient to prevent dust accumulations of 1/32 inch or greater.
  • Is the access to dust collection areas restricted?
  • Are drip pans under equipment cleaned daily to prevent the flammable liquid accumulations?
  • Are dryer exhaust systems routed away from combustible materials and access provided for routine cleaning?
  • Is the lint from clothes dryers removed on a regular basis?
  • Are compressors, fans, and circulation equipment used in freezers, coolers, and cold storage rooms included in a regular cleaning and maintenance program?
  • Do you prevent the growth of tall dry grass, brush, and weeds adjacent to facilities with a maximum three-foot fire break?
  • Are combustible dusts vacuumed, swept, or washed, as opposed to blown with compressed air?
  • Is shelf storage at least 18 inches away from sprinkler heads and 24 inches from the ceiling in non-sprinklered areas?

References
United States Department of Labor OSHA 29 CFR 1926.25(c)
United States Department of Labor OSHA 29 CFR 1910.176(c) Materials Handling & Storage
NFPA 654 “Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids.”
NFPA 61 “Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities.”

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